It’s been a minute, but I have to feel inspired, or the message doesn’t seem right.
My husband and I recently traveled to the island of Oahu in Hawaii (not a bad place to find a little inspiration:). We stayed in the most touristy part of town: Waikiki. The sheer beauty of the island is so indescribable that I can only come up with cliches:) The water is every shade of blue and green imaginable. The mountains are so high, clouds hover at the top, forcing you to stare up with mouth agape. The sky is bluer in Hawaii. It’s beautiful.
My husband was there on business, so I had half of every day to myself to explore and stare at God’s amazing work. I had a lot of beach time, running time, and people gazing time. It was awesome!
But on the first day, my husband was off, so we explored Pearl Harbor, because we’re military and that’s what we do. Here’s a view from the Mighty Mo:
The next day, went a little like this: I wanted to lie on the beach in Hawaii, so like anywhere else, I walked straight out of our hotel, directly across the street, to lie on the beach there and this is what I saw:
There’s a person under that yellow tarp. The lady at the next picnic table over in the background (also homeless), was making necklaces and headbands out of leaves to sell. I walked around them, put my towel down, got a novel out, and began to read, but I couldn’t focus. There was more. I turn and look behind me: tarp tents, everywhere.
I think to myself exactly what everyone has said since I have brought the homeless subject up to them: “well, if I were homeless, what better place to be?”. The weather is perfect. The scenery is magnificent. There’s a steady flow of tourists, such as myself, that will give them a handout.
The next day, I go out again, but this time, I only see the homeless. The man on the corner flailing his arms out and screaming expletives at no one, the lady with two different shoes on pushing a stroller full of trash, also talking to herself. I see another lady with pants on that are nothing but torn shreds carrying on a conversation with herself in two different voices. I walk ten feet down the street in front of Starbucks and watch a lady with a broken ankle wrapped in a filthy ace bandage talk to herself, crouch down and start typing on the ground. Further down from her, I see a man lying on the corner beside a newspaper stand, wide awake, staring into space.
Having counseled people with mental health issues, I can clearly see that there is a complete and total failure of the mental health system here. My heart aches. There is no hope in any of their eyes.
I begin researching the homeless issue in Hawaii. The largest population of homeless are in fact in Waikiki. Go figure. I didn’t see that in any of the vacation brochures. I read that the homeless have been relocated from there several times, but make their way back. I read about the Governor’s 90-day “fix-it” proposal that resulted in finding out the “fixer” that was hired by the Governor was a child molester. I read the tourist’s complaints. I read. I read some more.
The point in this whole post is this: without hope, what do we have?
I saw no hope there. Where else were they going to go? They can’t hitchhike to the next state over. They definitely can’t afford airfare to get off the island. There are resources available to them, but who reaches out to them?
I’m positive some organizations/people have reached out to those in need there, but there’s a need for more. There isn’t a 90-day fix to what’s going on there.
But, this all got me to thinking…
Have you ever been without hope?
Have you ever been stuck on an island with nowhere to go, no one to turn to?
Who is your refuge?
“O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge”. -Psalms 62:8
Do you trust in Him at all times?
Do you pour your heart out to him?
I fail on both counts.
Trust is a verb. It’s an action. We have to choose daily to trust in Him.
He, who gives hope.
He, who is our refuge, our protection, our shelter.
He, who sees the woman typing on her pretend computer, with a broken ankle.
He, who lies beside the man in front of the newspaper stand.
He, who counts the hairs on your head.
The same He that came so that they may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Call upon Him. He will answer.