Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 18, 2014

Yesterday’s Eyes

Star of Hope has a long and rich history of serving the homeless in the greater Houston area. This Christ-centered community is dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children. The staff at Star of Hope encourage and facilitate positive life changes through structured programs which focus on spiritual growth, education, employment, life management and recovery from substance abuse.

Once a month, the Spiritual Recovery Program at Star of Hope has a Commencement Celebration for those who have successfully completed an intensive Christ-centered discipleship program. My friend and Kingsland member Jack O’Brien is the Assistant Vice President of Donor Relations at Star of Hope. Jack invited me to join him at this month’s commencement. So, this morning I headed downtown in the pouring rain, excited to hear the stories of the men who are graduating from the program.

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Driving in Houston traffic is bad enough on normal days and nerve-racking on rainy days. The trip to the Star of Hope Men’s Development Center took longer than usual in the heavy rain this morning. But, I am so glad I went. The Commencement Celebration was just that — a celebration of the good work that God has done in the lives of men who were once homeless, helpless, addicted to harmful substances, and who had hit bottom.

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The testimonies of each of the men moved me deeply. Anyone who doubts the power of the gospel to transform lives needs to attend one of these commencement programs at Star of Hope. This morning Larry Thomas, a case manager at the Men’s Development Center, expressed something in a way that caused me to reflect about how we treat others. Larry addressed his words to a man named Anthony, one of the graduates. But his words touched my heart, too.

Thomas cautioned Anthony, “When you go back home, some folks will still see you with yesterday’s eyes.” And then he encouraged Anthony to consistently live his life in a Christ-honoring way — the only way to convince others that his life has indeed been transformed. Thomas’ words hit me like a ton of bricks. He is absolutely right. There are people in each of our lives who tend to look at us with yesterday’s eyes — people who will not forget, who refuse to forgive, who keep lists of wrongs, and who will not believe that we have changed.

As I drove back to Katy I could feel Thomas’ words refreshing my heart like the pouring rain. I prayed that God would help me to guard my own heart and keep me from looking at others with yesterday’s eyes. And I also prayed for those who look at me with yesterday’s eyes — those who would rather believe the worst about me than to accept the fact that I am a fallible human being who messes up from time to time. When we fail to give one another the latitude to be human, we tend to become inhumane in our judgment and treatment of others.
Processed with MoldivI’m thankful to Jack for inviting to me join him this morning. And I am thankful for the compassionate work of all those who serve others through the various ministries at Star of Hope. I enjoyed spending some time with Jack, meeting others who serve at Star of Hope, hearing some remarkable testimonies, and being reminded of the importance of seeing others through Jesus’ eyes instead of with yesterday’s eyes.


Responses

  1. Nice! I’ve been reminded recently that anyone, even our enemies, can acquire an amazing testimony of transformation through Christ and can achieve great work for His Kingdom. I’m thankful for Star of Hope and the folks that serve as disciples to facilitate the transition of men from looking at life through yesterday’s eyes of hopelessness, to men who see their hope-filled future with Christ.

  2. I absolutely love this issue, and so appreciate Star of Hope.

  3. Omar, I am so touched by this whole section on yesterday’s eyes! I am thinking that I would really like to either link to your blog or use a quote from it for an upcoming Manna House newsletter. Would you be open to that? It’s exactly what some of our guys (and their loved ones) need to hear.

    • Hi Kristi…

      Yes, please use this blog post in whatever way you like in the Manna House publication.

      Blessings,
      Omar~

  4. Great post Omar. How much different might the homeless be viewed if we consider what their “yesterday’s” were? What life did they live? Where did they come from? What is their history? Such a blessing whenever we can see miracles in our presence when the suffering are transformed and what an inspiration it is to go reach more who have fallen off the radar of society. God bless you.

    • Thanks, Chad. And thanks for being the hands of Jesus among the least of these and for seeing them with His eyes.


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