This summer, we were blessed to travel to Paris – the City of Lights. It was beautiful, every corner breathtaking and Instagrammable, and oh so inspirational. The culture was refreshing. But one dark spot in the City of Lights was the shocking homeless population.
As soon as shops closed their doors, a homeless person would take shelter on their stoop. Walking down the streets, doorway after doorway had turned into a home for the night. In the heart of the busy Latin Quarter where we stayed, each night we saw a single mother with four small children lay out a bed of two blankets on a street corner. She tucked them all in, and they’d fall asleep in the chaos of Parisian nightlife.
When we returned home, I did a little research about homelessness in Paris. According to INSEE, 141,500 people were living without shelter in 2012, an increase of 44% since 2001. In Paris alone, that increase was 84%. Women account for 38% of this homeless population and around 30,000 children have no home.
The image of that mother and her four children has stayed with me throughout the weeks since we left Paris. No matter where you travel to across the world, the Lord’s compassion for the brokenhearted remains the same. While I struggle to recognize every member of our life-changing programs at the Mission, God knows the number of hairs on each and every person’s head. He is sleeping on the stoops with the thousands in Paris. He is beside those taking refuge under bridges here in Omaha.
So in a time when disunity among nations is on the rise, as Christians let’s remember the calling that binds us all. Let’s be compassionate to the brokenhearted.
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