The Human Experience: Homeless

I hope you were able to join us at Canvas Church tonight for our new Growth Track series, The Human Experience. If not, we hope this will encourage you still to be a part of the conversation.

In exploring the first section of the documentary, The Human Experience, we see two brothers come together in search of purpose, hope, and just possibly the answers to life’s question, “Why am I here?”

We were introduced to Jeffrey’s story. A young mans definition of home, living with an abusive father and his search of the things he felt were missing from his childhood. Jeffrey and his brother Clifford begin their journey of the  human experience by living homeless in New York City. We had a great conversation about emptiness, the Kingdom of God, homelessness and perspective.

Continuing the conversation here: What was your perspective on this portion of the video? Agree or Disagree with anything that was shared in Growth Track? How do you think God views homelessness and the poor?

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7 thoughts on “The Human Experience: Homeless

  1. Jesus said that we would always have the poor with us. In order to serve anyone effectively for the Lord, we must be sensitive to His voice about how to minister to their needs, not depend on our own thoughts and feelings coming from the clouded vision of our own paradigms. So it is with serving the homeless and destitute.

    I do not believe it matters a great deal to God how a person became homeless; He is only interested in the same thing He is for all of us: How do we as humans respond to His invitation for relationship with Him? Each person has their own unique calling in this life if they choose to respond to it.

    The question is, how does one help another to see that they were meant to live for so much more than they have allowed themselves to have? Many times, even those of us who belong to Jesus and are not homeless have a difficult time realizing in practice that we are sons and daughters of the King. Why are we eating out of the dumpsters of life when He has an extravagant banquet waiting for us? Can we help others to experience the goodness of God if we ourselves have trouble believing it?

  2. Thanks for the comment Denise… and thanks to everyone for the great discussion on Wednesday. As promised, I will add some of my notes here. You are certainly welcome (and encourage) to comment on them… or you can simply use them for review / reflection.

    If you missed last week, and want to get caught up… The Human Experience is currently on Netflix. Also, Nick has a copy of the DVD that I’m sure could be made available.

    To start us off, please consider the following question.

    What do you think about the documentary’s primary goals: Answering the questions Who am I? Who is Man? and Why do we search for meaning?

  3. The Human Experience Intro: Notes

    Jeffrey Azize shares his story, and describes a feeling of not fitting in. He also makes the following statements about why he was embarking on these experiences.
    …”a chance to get to know who I am”
    …”you ask yourself where are you going an why”
    …”wanted to experience something new and unusual”

    Can you identify with any of these feelings?

  4. The Human Experience Intro: Notes

    Jeffrey Azize shares his story, and describes his childhood. He says…”for us, life wasn’t easy growing up, it left us with a lot of unanswered questions”. He also explains that he hopes these experiences can help him learn…”things I should’ve learned when I was younger”.

    Do you feel his paradigm (of childhood) caused this desire to learn / experience more? Why or why not?

  5. Experience 1: Homeless Notes

    Here are several quotes from the movie. Please feel free tocomment on any, or simply review / reflect.

    …”we have an opportunity to put ourselves in a homeless man’s shoes” Cliff Azize
    …”just a little sacrifice to get some wisdom and knowledge” Jeffrey Azize
    …”we are going through this together” Jeffrey Aziz
    Knowledge of street life…”sleep by a church”…”he is with society” HM#2
    …”to understand it, you have to live it” HM#2
    …”everyone survives differently” Jeffrey Azize
    …”everyone lives differently” Jeffrey Azize
    …”when you go out of your own comfort zone and enter some elses… that’s learning” Jeffrey Azize
    …”god has a purpose for us all” HM#3
    …”people don’t appreciate what they have” HW#1
    …”there is a lot of people more worse off than I am just being homeless”. HM#3
    …”if you don’t have good family and friends to support you” HW#1
    …”If you treasure your life, you should treasure others”. Dr. William Hurlbut
    …”I’m homeless, and I’m happy” “happiness is my strength” HM#2
    …”my whole heart feels different” Jeffrey Azize
    …”those little differences that become big things… don’t buy it anymore”. Franklin Smith Actor

  6. At the end of the first experience, Anna Halpine states…”Until these ideas are rooted in reality and the reality of my own life and experience…they can’t be be tested… they can’t be known to be true”

    Do you agree? / disagree?

  7. It seems to me that both Cliff and Jeffrey are on this quest for meaning for a couple of basic reasons: 1) There is an innate desire for something outside of ourselves, larger than we are. Pascal said that there is a “God-shaped hole” inside of everyone. Until we find our Creator and join with Him in relationship, we will always be unsatisfied. 2) Cliff and Jeffrey’s difficult upbringing birthed the desire to have their deepest questions answered. Setting out to see how others have solved their questions/problems of purpose, hope, and personal fortitude is something they believe will give them at least a beginning in discovering the answers to life’s questions.

    Cliff and Jeffrey are perhaps saying too, that the person who has been in another’s shoes for a time knows better where they are coming from than someone who has only observed from the outside…”experience is the best teacher”.

    For the most part, Anna Halpine’s statement is true…unless you have known something first hand, it is difficult to “own” it as yours. How can we know that God’s Word is true unless we have experienced it in one form or another? I know His Word is true because I have met a PERSON. His Word is true because HE is true, not the other way around.

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