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BBC Radio 4:Rhidian Brook - 08/02/2018

Good Morning, There are many mansions in this kingdom; but not everyone gets to sleep in one. Today there are officially just under 5000 people sleeping rough in the UK (although the charity CRIsis puts the figure at 9,000). There may be a shortage of easy remedies, but there’s no shortage of good will. This winter, many people have pitched up in town-halls, chapels or school buildings to help serve meals and provide temporary accommodation for the homeless. Every Wednesday volunteers from my neighbourhood gather at a church and convert it into a hostel for the night. We cook, lay the tables, serve the guests and then join them for the meal. Initially, it’s an awkward communion of the sheltered and the unsheltered. The question you want to ask is how did you end up here? The charity advises against getting personally involved, but some guests are happy to tell their stories. And it soon becomes clear that homelessness is an umbrella term for a number of social concerns. It might be triggered by a family tragedy or a mental health issue; by bad luck or bad choices. There is no one route to this situation. For a while, the differences between us and the guests are obscured by the fact that we are all under one roof, eating the same food, discussing the same things. And the more we share, the greater there is a sense among the volunteers that given different circumstances ‘it could be one of us out there, looking for a bed for the night.’ But later, over the washing up, some judgement started to creep in, when someone suggested that a particular guest had clearly brought their situation upon themselves; whilst another guest had blamed everyone else for their plight. We agreed that homelessness was complicated but the moment we started debating the reasons for it, something was lost. The person became a problem. That fragile communion was broken. We needed to remind ourselves that we were not there to attribute blame or be counsellors but to feed people and see that they had a bed for the night. For as James puts it: ‘what use is it if your brother or sister doesn’t have enough food for the day and you say ‘good luck, eat well, stay warm’ but do nothing to meet their bodily needs?’ Jesus avoided being drawn into arguments about cause and effect and discouraged his followers from speculating about people’s problems – as He knew it would lead to judgement. Instead he identified himself with the homeless to such an extent that sCRIpture goes as far as suggesting that if we take up their cause we may find Him. No-one has seen God, says the gospel writer, but you might find him amongst the destitute and dejected. Walking back to my shelter that night I couldn’t help thinking that if such a God existed He would still be out there, looking for the ones who have nowhere to go. 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/18/02/BBC-Radio-4-Rhidian-Brook-08-02-2018.html