Be the hope

Lisa was home. Janice was done! Jake was confused. Bob was lost.

Lisa was home in her usual way, making dinner for her husband Rick and her sons David and James. Unbeknownst to her, her world would turn over, and her husband was to die in their bed that evening.

Janice was done. “This is the last time ever he does this to me,” she was thinking as she fled. But where could she go? Her shame and humiliation were too much in her heart to face the battered women's shelter.

On what would have been his twenty-eighth wedding anniversary Bob was scouting out the backroads of New Jersey. Trying to sell bits and pieces of his collapsed life, soon to be a divorced man.

Joe knew he needed help, but he didn't know for what. Did the drug use lead to mental illness? Or was it in response to it?

I’ve known all of these people and their stories.

All but one of these beginnings ended in longterm homelessness. All of them could have had a better outcome. All of them could have used a bit of “hope.”

Bob's story did not lead him to being homeless. Bob had a support system, friends, family and a church family. Without which he may have slipped through the cracks.

I am Bob.

I had hope from my support system. And though I still struggle, I am blessed with shelter, sustenance and raiment. Now I try to give hope to others.

My hope now is that homelessness can be prevented. My hope is that vulnerable people without a support system will find people who are willing to fill those gaps—with a word up, a hand up or a prayer up.

Can you be the hope to someone today? Your encouragement, your help, your love, your presence could make all the difference.