Men's Shelter of Charlotte

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We’re All Wheat

I’m reading this incredibly fascinating book (thanks Molly!) from Jen Hatmaker titled Interrupted.  In it she writes the following…  The risk of encountering a few weeds is not sufficient reason to avoid the whole field of human suffering because, I assure you, identifying with the wheat but not the weeds is a gross overestimation of our own station.  Our Holy Savior advised us well, humans must treat the wheat and the weeds the same.  We’re only qualified to administer mercy, not judgment, because we will pull up many a beautiful stalk of wheat imagining him a weed.

Every month during our employee staff meeting, I set aside time for folks to share successes they encountered since our last meeting.  This month one of our staff talked about a man we’ve known for years who has a serious drug addiction and relapses often.  He recently returned to the shelter after an horrific relapse and told this staff person that he came back to the shelter because he knew that we would help him no matter what!  And we did.

It’s hard for me to imagine that there is much of a distinction between the wheat and the weed.  I tried to rationalize that, perhaps, sometimes we all are “weeds” and at other times “wheat,” but that sounds too cliché.  What I see everyday is that we are all “wheat,” just at different stages of growth – sprouting at times, wilting when times are tough, and standing tall when we’re focused on what really matters in life.  I hope that today you will see all of your brothers and sisters as wheat, even if they appear to be disguised as a weed.  Blessings!

Carson Dean

In September 2008 I became the Executive Director of the Men's Shelter of Charlotte. I've spent almost 15 years working to end homelessness in North Carolina. After working with homeless and runaway youth in Raleigh, I served as the Director of the South Wilmington Street Center (men's shelter) in Wake County and then worked on Orange County's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. I am a former board chair for the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness and former chair of the Homeless Services Network in Charlotte. In 2014 I served as the partner agency representative on the United Way Central Carolinas board of directors.

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