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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thank You... "The power of Acceptance"

The following is a thank you letter written to a friend for an act of kindness. He befriended a homeless person and posted a blog about it. That act and posting reminded me of a point in my life that gives an example of "The Power of Acceptance."

God's acceptance of man while still a sinner has given us the ability to not only change our own life, but also the lives of others. Accepting Christ and following His example in accepting others can do more than we ever think possible.


Dear Dave,
There are three things that top the list in my Ministry; Poverty, Crime, and Homelessness. One could say that in a big way they are one and the same. I am personally connected to these areas from the conditions of my life. I grew up in poverty, spent time in jail, and for years lived on the street as a homeless man. Your post, “Rose Colored Glasses”, is a timely one and I thank you for being vocal in this area of concern. As you point out, the community of homeless people is a diverse one with members that hit the full range and spectrum in makeup. Our society is mixed in its view as well as its method of addressing possible remedies. Sometimes the actions can be quite horrifying. See my article: Society Today. I have been there and can tell you first hand that the biggest thing that anyone ever did that made a real difference for me, was to acknowledge me as a human being. Of the people on the street, most have stopped viewing themselves with any dignity. We have created a class system, an US and THEM attitude. This has helped to destroy the self-esteem of these that exist as outcasts of the mainstream. The few handouts of money and food are only a Band-Aid solution, and then... only exist for the brief moment that they are given. Real solutions are needed for this real problem. There are good programs out there but they are too few in number, and greatly overwhelmed. A good start is found in the step that you have taken; to take a real concerned look, without the rose colored glasses. If anyone wishes to take that look there are vivid glimpses in my playlist --
"The Real Homeless People", on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/mattmilamii
The problem did not come about overnight and will take an effort from all of us. I for one am more than just willing.

As I said before, the thing that made the most difference to me when I was on the street was being treated as a human being. Acceptance is the single most lacking thing in most of the lives of the homeless. After a time it works away at your sense of self worth, leaving you to feel rejected and useless. Validation as a person is a big hand up. If anyone really would help them, it would be in finding ways to instill a new sense of self worth. This one thing is what creates new character or at least helps to find the character that is there hidden away. Far better than money with the ability to give life back, not just a meal.

It was in a conversation over a meal with a stranger that my life was changed. That man took the time to make me feel accepted. As I bathed in feelings of kindness, God took hold of my emotions and gave me a reason to live. That one single encounter marked a chain of events that has taken me from being homeless in the streets. It has brought me to the service of Our Father as a Minister of His Gospel, and the journey is just beginning.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Your act of kind acceptance follows this directive to the letter. It sets up a pattern that I find universal in truth. You see when I was shown kind acceptance I was given back my value. With the feeling of value came my sense of worth. God showed me the reason and purpose for that worth and just how much value it was. 
Our life is found and given value in the death of Christ.
Continue to follow your heart...for it is guided by the spirit.

For an eye opening look - use this link - "The Down and Out"

Thank You Again…


Lady Bee ♥ said...

Thank God for encouragement! Although we need thank God for all things. I thank God for you bro' Matt.

Peace & Blessings
In His Love
Lady Bee

judie_may said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, but more thanks on making this blog. God's words guides me in my life and I'm thankful for giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, for saving us. And with regard to this article about acceptance, kindly open this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzYgSJCPEtY

The video talks about different children whom we, knowingly or unknowingly, disregard from our society.

God bless you always,

patricia said...

this was an awesome blog, thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and making us check our fruit gifts. as usual I walk away thinking.

Thank you my friend

Lori said...

Hi Matt,
First let me tell you how much of an inspiration you are. I can tell by your writing that you are a mighty man of God! So be encouraged!

I can really appreciate this post and your response. We each have our personal “crosses” to bear, and something you wrote really got my attention, you said…”We have created a class system, an US and THEM attitude. “…that is exactly the way I used to be. From visiting my blog you know I have a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Before I came to Christ I was so full of myself, so image driven. I viewed disabled or handicapped people as being so far beneath me. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and no longer do I have a shallow view of suffering. I could write on and on, but I think you understand. Anyway, be blessed!

Wisdom And Spiritual said...

Now if you are a meta physician as I am, you interpret this to mean that intellectual things can be proven by empirical evidence, but spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. On an intellectual level you may see that Infinite Intelligence is the giver of all good.

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