Everyone is worth counting. That's the underlying premise of the second national survey of homeless Americans.
Recently completed, the survey holds no specific answers to the challenge of homelessness, but it does illustrate that each individual has value (The Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 21).
As the article points out, people find themselves without permanent dwellings for numerous reasons, so a one-size-fits-all response doesn't always work. That's not to discount the efforts of those providing help. Emergency shelters, food programs, and subsidized housing give needed help, but it's only in seeing and meeting each individual's needs that progress is really made.
That's a tall order, given the potential number of homeless people worldwide. Take Dane Blythe, who explains in the article that his personal issues and his longing for freedom keep him from remaining in a more permanent home. Still, he looks to God for help and manages to be grateful for what comes his way. "I just pray to God every morning to give me what I need, if not what I want. And every night I thank God for what I do have."
God's love is both broad enough to encompass each of His children and specific enough to meet individual needs. He doesn't leave anyone out. We can depend on divine support when life turns a corner we didn't expect and even when our basic necessities appear to be threatened. Whether we're on the streets or living in a home, God is there to help.
It doesn't matter what anyone else appears to think about us. The only factor is what God knows to be true. One psalm says, "Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head" (Ps. 3:2, 3).