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Posts Tagged ‘British Columbia’

ChickenManureIt’s safe to write that this was not the kind of international media attention the Canadian city of Abbotsford, British Columbia wanted to achieve.

Like most large cities, there are homeless people in Abbotsford and they like to gather in a spot called “The Honey Tree”. Apparently some folks weren’t happy about that because city workers dumped chicken manure at the site.

An attempt to drive the homeless away? That’s certainly the logical answer, but nobody at the city said so. Especially when the move attracted international attention and widespread criticism. Instead, city officials scrambled to undertake an investigation and the mayor held a news conference to apologize.

As I read articles on this controversy, I was forced to confront my own discomfort with homeless people. Often, they are unkempt and smelly. Often, they are mentally ill. Often, they want money from me – to buy something I may not approve of.

But I follow Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God), and one of the original source documents about His life on earth says “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.

As far as I’m concerned, that statement means God loves the homeless people of Abbotsford, British Columbia every bit as much as he loves me or Taylor Swift or the British Royals. That also means Abbotsford’s homeless have the same intrinsic value as billionaires and Hollywood royalty.

Our culture doesn’t think so – the actions of Abbotsford’s city staff are certainly evidence of that – but it’s why I follow Jesus. He hung out with the marginalized people of ancient Israel and He often made it clear that the “in” people of that place were the ones he had issues with.

My own discomfort aside, I want to be more like Jesus. I want to pay less attention to what our broken world thinks is “cool” and pay attention to what He thinks. Because like all serious Jesus followers, I believe he lived, died and came back to life for people like me. And people like the homeless of Abbotsford, British Columbia. And people like YOU. All you have to is accept the gift.

Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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