Will you or someone at your house get a new hat, shoes, or dress for Easter? In our family, Jenn (at age 7) still loves to pick out a new dress for Easter – and last year she thought she needed a purse and hat to go with it! Lately, I’ve been thinking about how God clothes us and calls us to clothe others.
In February, I attended a conference in North Carolina. Speaker Lauren Winner suggested that images of God often appear in threes in scripture. For example, God clothes us (Genesis 3), God is clothing (Galatians 3), and God calls us to clothe others (Matthew 25). And, God is homebuilder (John 14), God is home (Psalm 90), and God was homeless (Luke 9).
God as clothing. God as a home. God as homeless. During Lent, these images are giving me fresh glimpses of the One who is both a God of vulnerability and the God who shelters us.
Receiving keys to a home of one’s own can be transformational – as a recent 60 Minutes story showed. Here are 31 powerful “before and after” photos of participants in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, showing what a difference housing makes – after the dehumanization of living on the streets.
Reflecting on his experience in Nashville, Anderson Cooper, in this 60 Minutes Overtime video , says that, “We all have support networks. We all have a family, friends, and a job – things that support us when we trip. These are people who have burned through those support networks. And that’s really the only difference.”
While women and children served by Bridge of Hope are rarely part of the street homeless, they often face homelessness because of insufficient support networks. Bridge of Hope provides temporary rental assistance, a social worker, and trained mentoring friends from a local church – to be the support network for a family facing homelessness.
Anderson Cooper says he was transformed by his experience in Nashville. After the story, he talked (for the first time) to the homeless person who panhandles near his home, and he continues to do so.
Edith Yoder is Executive Director of Bridge of Hope National an organization dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness for women and children across the United States by calling churches to action.