Once again we went to Love Park in order to bless the less fortunate. I am not sure how else to start these posts other than to say that we went down once again to serve the homeless. In order to convey the intensity of our trips, I have thought about how we could describe all that I have experienced while being there and oftentimes feel like I have done a disservice to those whom we have met. I am not sure how else to share it though. Their stories have become personal to me and their names have been itched on my heart. I guess this is the best way to tell their stories after all
Yesterday was a weird night for me, being that I was not sure once again why we even go down to Love Park in the first place. I am still struggling with the issue of the temporal needs that we meet each Monday night – are we doing more than just giving food or are we aiding in people depending on us as their source of provision? I am just not sure how to go about it.
I am glad that I met Terrell. Terrell is as homeless as the next guy but for some reason loves being homeless. He said that he had the freedom to go from place to place and meet people. His outlook on being homeless is what I would consider much different than my impressions of what it would be like to end up in that situation. He had heard for a long time that he should be a preacher but felt that the voices that shred these thoughts were not the type of confirmation he was looking for. He is happy though. Being in and on the streets for a while now, Terrell has learned to rely on the Word of God and love people who are in the same situation he is in now. I guess that has to be something I admire about him.
After awhile, I sensed that Terrell wanted to be alone for a while and meditate on God. I left him and told him that I would keep him in my prayers – I definitely will. I know that God will use him to bless a lot of people on the streets. I really have no doubt about that.
After I left Terrell to be with the Lord, I saw Linda talking to the ladies over near where we normally set up our coffee and sandwiches. So, I went over and listened to her talk. I love Linda because she will tell you things as they are. She will not sugarcoat anything. How would I describe Linda? She is no more than 5 feet and certainly no more than 100 pounds. She has a huge ball of gray and brown hair with three earrings in each ear, a weathered face from living on the streets and a smile that is very distinct, due to her lack of teeth. She is loud and overbearing at times with how she speaks to other people. She tries hard to be “normal” but feels that if she were unable to be herself with anyone, she would be a fake. She curses to get her point across and never has a problem pointing her finger at you as well. Her clothing style is eclectic and mismatched. One thing she has all the time is a hoodie. She told us that no one should be without a hoodie on the streets because it always keeps your head off the ground and your ears warm. Hoodies are valuable to the homeless.
Linda shared that she had not had any drugs today and that is why she needed a lot of sugar. It would give her a high to hold her over because she did not have any money to buy what she wanted to get her through the day.
As we gathered for prayer, we had a decently large group of homeless people with us. A couple new guys had a little Pentecostalism in them and began to pray like I have not heard in a long time. There is something about having men pray that way that makes me upset that my prayers are not that passionate. I know prayer is conversation with God and all – and that God hears my prayers according to my heart – but it is something about hearing people pray that way that really encourages you. Linda on the other hand must have A.D.D. or something because she was getting antsy. After the first man had prayed for a good few minutes, Aaron (the guy with the really long hair I have written about before) began to pray. He was passionate and boisterous in his prayer. All of the sudden, I hear Linda from the other end of the circle say, “Hey man, my feet are cold. Let’s keep it going here.” Again, this is what I love about Linda. After another minute, Linda spoke again: “Hurry up man!” I could not believe it – I was almost in tears laughing because I knew Linda was just being Linda. Finally she could not take it anymore and she said, “Sorry God” and left. After we prayed, and were heading back to the cars, I was almost in tears laughing. Linda had made me smile. Even though I know it might have been perceived as a rude thing to say, Linda once again was being Linda. To be honest, I really needed to laugh tonight. I am glad I was able to do so.