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Outrage Unfolds Over 'Un-homeless' Homeless Man

Compassion Disillusionment Cynicism

Source: "Man given boots by NYPD officer: Street life ‘my choice’" By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News, The Lookout, Sun, Dec 9, 2012

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-12

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:17

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

ILLUSTRATION

Officer Lawrence DePrimo of the NYPD made national headlines and received an official award of commendation from the New York City Police Department back in November ('12) for buying a pair of socks and boots for a homeless man. The whole thing was caught on camera by an out-of-town tourist whose pictures became a viral internet sensation. All around the country, hearts were warmed and stirred to similar acts of kindness and compassion.

But all that generosity of spirit seems to be coming to a grinding halt, replaced instead by disillusionment, cynicism and even anger. A few days after being gifted the boots, the "homeless" man was spotted back on the street, barefoot again (says he put the boots away for safe keeping!). And to make matters worse, it seems he isn't really homeless at all!

The Daily News reported the man people assumed was homeless ... has a Bronx apartment paid for via a combination of rent vouchers, Social Security and military veteran benefits. Now Jeffrey Tillman--the 54-year-old man at the center of this ... story--says that despite access to federally subsidized shelter, it's his choice to wander the streets.

What's more, he is an estranged father of two with lots of family and friends who care about him.

His family and various city organizations have tried for years to help him, but he's turned them all down.

"We love our brother very much," Kirk Hillman said. "Our door is always open to him, but this is a lifestyle he's chosen."

Response to the new revelations has been varied. One commenter thinks enough is enough and we should find a way to "deal accordingly" with those who make a "public nuisance" of themselves: "Everyone deserves a second chance but after a while people should be considered nuisances and should be removed from the streets and dealt with accordingly."

Another expresses what "dealing with them accordingly" might look like, with an oblique reference to an old sci-fi film in which the human remains of those who were considered a drain on society were turned into food wafers* for consumption by the working masses: "Soylent Green* anyone?" he asks cynically.

Fortunately though, there have been many who have seen beyond the "worthiness" of the recipient of the boots, to heart of the giver.

"The one thing to take away from this is the generosity and kindness of the police officer -definitely one of New York's Finest," said one.

"Let me say something, this cop did this out of charity and good will, nothing else! Whether this guy sold the boots for booze or has them hid means NOTHING! When you give a gift, you do so with the idea that the gift is their's, they can do with it as they want to. The cop's karma has been increased because of this, no matter what any of you say. How many of you have helped someone lately? Even in your own family??? However the media wants to spin this story, the cop did right, and has earned my respect," said another.

APPLICATION

Christ knew full well what most of us would do with the gift that cost him everything to give. We set it aside and live "outside" of a life of productive, accountable discipleship. But He gave anyway!

Don't let cynicism and disillusionment rob you of the joy of giving!

"... God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:17).

No More Moon In My Sky

Meaning of Life Awe Disillusionment

Source: “If I Really Believe, Why Do I Have These Doubts?” By Lynn Anderson, p. 176

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-24

Scripture: Isaiah 53:1

Author: Dr. Lynn Anderson
1

ILLUSTRATION

Dr. Lynn Anderson, in his book If I Really Believe, Why Do I Have These Doubts? recounts a story told him by his journalist friend, Juan Monroy:

Years back, my friend Juan Monroy, a Christian journalist in Madrid, Spain, was among those reporters selected by the Spanish government to interview the American astronaut James Irwin, who was on a European tour after his Apollo 15 mission to the moon. Monroy asked the astronaut, "What did you feel when you stepped out of that capsule and your feet touched the surface of the moon?"

To Monroy's utter surprise, Irwin replied, "It was one of the most profoundly disillusioning moments of my life."
 
Monroy pressed the astronaut: "How could standing on the moon be so disappointing?"
 
Irwin explained, "All of my life I have been enchanted by the romance and the mystery of the moon. I sang love songs under the moon. I read poems by moonstruck poets. I embraced my lover in the moonlight. I looked up in wonder at the lunar sphere. But that day when I stepped from the capsule onto the lunar surface and reached down at my feet, I came up with nothing but two handfuls of gray dirt. I cannot describe the loss I felt as the romance and mystery were stripped away. There will be no more moon in my sky!”

Dr. Lynn Anderson has been in ministry for over thirty-five years and currently serves as president of Hope Network, a ministry dedicated to coaching, mentoring, and equipping spiritual leaders.

APPLICATION

It would seem that Irwin lost his “awe.” The dusty, gray, barren surface of the moon just didn’t live up to his romantic expectations.

For those of us who are not jetting to the moon and back, life can be oh-so-ordinary. Our relationships with both God and man can feel bland and routine—unromantic.

Yet God loves the ordinary. He lives in the ordinary. In fact, He became an ordinary man just so he could relate to us ordinary folks. By doing so, He has infused the ordinary with mystery and romance.

Keep the moon in your sky! Don’t let the routine of your life and relationships disillusion your vision of their true value and beauty.

“Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:1-5).

Illustration Exchange

Burst Bubbles of Nothingness

Meaning of Life Disillusionment Dreams

Source: ABUNDANT LIVING, p. 2

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2011-10-01

Author: E. Stanley Jones
2

ILLUSTRATION

My grandchildren LOVE to play with bubbles. We always keep some in the play cupboard at home and always carry extra with us whenever we go visit them at their home. We have small wands and big wands. We have bubble kazoos and bubble straws, bubble rings and bubble fans. All are designed to create those luminescent, glistening balls of joy that dance in the air and float on the wind. Our girls chase after them with a squealing delight that is music to the ears. But alas, in time, each spectacular sphere comes to the same end. Pricked upon a blade of grass, poked by an inquisitive finger, or burst by the heat of the sidewalk, each one pops, leaving nothing of its former brilliance but a sticky wet spot.

APPLICATION

Isn’t life just like that? We chase after its brilliance and its dazzling wonders only to find that most of them are elusive at best. And those we reach can’t hold up to the pressure of our grasp and simply “pop,” leaving nothing more than a sticky wet spot on our hearts. 

E. Stanley Jones describes it this way:

"For if there is no God to give worth and meaning and goal to life, then we and our life experience and relationships are only animated bubbles that rise to the cosmic surface, glisten in the sunlight for a brief space, and then burst, leaving a nasty we spot on the surface of things. … If there is no God, we go through … a weary round of nothingness.”

The Godly Mother

Motherhood

Contributed By: Chris Huff | Date Posted: 2022-05-20

Scripture: Matthew 23:37 ; Luke 23:34

Author: Chris Huff
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We Cannot Control Our Enemy

Preparation Enemies

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2020-10-22

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10 ; Psalms 23:4

Author: Homer Adams
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What's Your Favorite Pair Of Shoes?

Christlikeness

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2020-03-08

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:21 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1

Author: Neal Pollard
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The World Celebrated A Full Tomb

Resurrection Easter

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-06

Author: Howard Harden
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Living In Glass Houses

Criticism Golden Rule

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Charles Panati
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Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-09-19

Author: Various
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Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-16

Author: Various
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