Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review: Under the Overpass

Under the Overpass is the type of book that will change your life; it did mine.  I first ran across this book online, reading one teen homeschooler's book review about it.  It sounded interesting so I picked it up from the library and read aloud with my family during dinner time.  As we read and discussed the book, our views changed, and ultimately, we did too.

The book is autobiographical, covering a five month period during which Mike Yankoski and his friend, Sam, drop out of college and live on the streets as homeless.  Their goal was to see what it was like to really rely on God for their next meal, their shelter, their everything.  In the process, not only did they see God's provision, but they obtained an accurate understanding of what it is like to be homeless and living on the streets.  Worse, they discovered how God's people, as individuals and has a collective church, respond to those in need.

Their experiences and insights will change how you look at the homeless (unless you already work closely with them).  And you may find yourself sharing a meal with a stranger in the near future.

It was this book that nudged me to buy that meal I spoke about in the previous post.  Previously, I would have felt uncomfortable, avoiding the man's gaze, as I went about my business.  At best, I would have donated a few dollars to the local shelter.  Not anymore.  No longer can I walk past a person so obviously in need and not offer some small comfort when it is in my ability to do so.  A smile, looking directly into their eyes and acknowledging their humanity, can mean so much to someone who has been treated as invisible for so long.  Some will accept a meal.  Others may be too locked into their addiction to want a meal, but at least you made contact.  Your attempt to connect, directly, personally, may mean everything to that person.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book, read it, and share it with others.

I have not been paid in anyway for this book review.  The review wasn't solicited by anyone.  The link, however, is an affiliate link at Amazon.  If you choose to buy the book, I'll get a few cents added to my account.  Better yet, borrow the book from the library, and use the money you saved to buy a meal for the next homeless person you run across.

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