“The homeless, they can be outsiders, they can be misunderstood, but they became my unlikely healers,” Elisabeth Jordan, Founder of The Human Impact, shared with a group of women at Christ Church Plano a few weeks ago.
She shared this after telling the story of the good Samaritan, a man who was an outsider of his day but stopped to help someone who was in the ditch, someone who was different from him. And as she read this story of the good Samaritan, she began to talk about how this passage is a picture of her own life.
Elisabeth grew up in Highland Park and shared that she had all of her needs met, was incredibly loved, and had goals to work in the arts and entertainment industry one day. Then that day came. She landed her dream job, but only to find out a year and a half later that she would lose her job. FIND THE POOREST AND PRAY FOR THEM After losing her job over six years ago, she asked the Lord to help her… “What are Your plans for my life,” she asked Him.
“Find the poorest people in Dallas and start to pray for them,” He answered.
“I knew it was God because poor people didn’t really exist in Dallas for me. I actually had to go onto Google, and I typed in ‘what’s the poorest area of Dallas’. And what came up was South Dallas,” she told the women.
It was at that point she started praying for the homeless in South Dallas as well as meeting with nonprofits in the city that were doing good work. That’s when she met Larry James, the Executive Director of CitySquare, a nonprofit serving the homeless for over twenty years. He invited Elisabeth to come meet the people that he served, on a corner between a bus stop and a homeless shelter.
“I was honestly terrified. This was so far outside my comfort zone,” Elisabeth shared. “But at the same time, I really felt like God was inviting me on this new journey and I wanted this adventure with God more than I wanted what was behind me. And so I said Yes!”
Elisabeth ended up going back every single Thursday to that corner and something in her was beginning to heal and come alive.
THEY LOVED ME FOR ME “In my community growing up, I always thought it mattered what I looked like, or what clothes I had on, or what I drove, or how much money I had.” Elisabeth said. “But my homeless friends, they just loved me for me. I felt like I could show up there with makeup or no makeup on, or in any outfit that I chose, and I was going to be loved the same way, just as Elisabeth.”
“Just like the Samaritan who had compassion on the man in the ditch, so my homeless friends saw me in the ditch, even though I didn’t see myself there, and they had compassion on me and they loved me… and they taught me to love myself.”
Elisabeth went on to say that before she was involved in this work, she would always think about what it would cost her and how she would be the one to heal others. But in the story of the good Samaritan and in her own journey, she now has a different perspective.
In the story of the Samaritan and what it would cost him to help the man in the ditch, “I think Jesus is turning that on its head… I think He’s saying that the people on the fringes of society, they actually may be most poised to help heal you.”
“So often we are thinking how much it’s going to cost us, but I think Jesus is saying, ‘I’m not just calling you to get close to people in need for them. I’m calling you to get close to people in need for you.’”
To the women at Christ Church Plano and to Leslie Housman: Thank you for opening up your church to us last Saturday, thank you for praying, and thank you for your kind notes to our friends!