Poems

Homelessness at Christmas time

Dec 2013    

Sheltering God,
your protection for us
is made known
in images of rock and mountain,
wings and arms,
tent and fold.
A protection that makes us
feel safe, secure, and confident –
with knowledge and assurance
that removes
our vulnerability,
and our loneliness,
our fears and our doubts.
You have promised to be
a constant presence,
light, warmth and comfort,
never failing, always near.

And yet, within your world
thousands of people lack shelter
and cannot really call
where they live
a home.
Their lives are impoverished,
living in a space put together
from whatever scraps
they can gather.
The rain leaks through,
the heat of the sun is brutal,
the dust irritates
and water and airborne
diseases flourish.

Yet for many this is their home
where new life is conceived,
where love is shown,
where characters are formed,
where faith is passed on
and where an understanding
of your protection
Is experienced.

God, fully human, yet fully divine,
you know what it is like
to have no real home –
born into a stable,
no vacancies in the
places of hospitality,
forced to flee as a refugee
with threatening attempts
on your life.

In the seasons of Advent
and Christmas
your frailty is remembered,
your vulnerability acknowledged,
your purpose for the world revered.

Come again, to give protection
and shelter.
Come again to strengthen the weak
and to subdue the proud.
Come to our own vulnerability
and enable all to offer
hope to a world in need.

This timely poem reminds us of the thousands who will be homeless this Christmas in the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. Please pray for them, and find out how you can support – turn to page 2.

Janice Clark is a Methodist local preacher from Scotland. She is a member of the Scottish Churches Housing Action board and Regional Development Officer, Scotland, for Habitat for Humanity.

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