Recently I read a book which I would love to recommend to all of you. It’s called Under the Overpass, by Mike Yankoski. Without further ado, let me give you a little synopsis of what this book is about, and then I’ll tell you why I think you should read it this summer.
This book is the story of two young men—still in college at the time— who decided that God was calling them to leave their well-to-do lives and live on the street, with the homeless. As it outlines in the book, there were three main reasons for this:
“1. To better understand the life of the homeless in America, and to see firsthand how the church is responding to their needs.
2. To encourage others to ‘live out loud’ for Christ in whatever ways God is asking them to.
3. To learn personally what it means to depend on Christ for my daily physical needs, and to experience contentment and confidence in Him.”
And so they set out to spend five months on the streets of five cities, namely, Denver, Washington, D.C., Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix, and San Diego. The insight they got into the lives of the homeless is really eye-opening. They slept on the concrete of filthy streets, went without food for days before finally eating things out of garbage can, and experienced horrible rejection from the average person on the street.
People like you and me.
And that leads me to the second part… why I’m glad I read this book, and why I think you should read this book.
This book is down-right convicting. And oh, so eye-opening.
I’ve been to 3 of the 6 cities in the book. My one memory of San Francisco is the homeless man staggering around, tipping the bottle he found in the trash, to get out every drop. That picture was seared into my ten-year-old brain. I actually visited Portland recently with a field trip group. We passed a homeless man wrapped in a sleeping bag, with junk, trash, and syringes (with traces of suspicious red liquid) lying around him on the sidewalk. The looks on everyone’s faces as we did… I don’t know about you, but I often think and feel judgmental thoughts toward homeless people. But reading something like this, just fills me with compassion for them, and makes me want to be one of those Christians who actually helps these people, created in God’s image.
And that’s why I think you should read this book. It will change your perspective, and also give you a really neat inside view into the lives of homeless people.
I hope this encourages you to read this great book. (I read it in a few hours!) If you do, please let me know about it in the comments! Maybe you could even add it to your summer bucket list. 😉
Do you have a book recommendation to share with me? Please share it in the comments below!
And until next time, have a happy summer. 🙂