For the past couple of weeks, I have taken a break from going to Love Park with my church. I never want this ministry to be something that I do out of tradition or out of habit but because it is something that I believe it is something we, as believers, should be doing. Taking a break every once in a while helps in that regard. It gives me an opportunity to evaluate my reasons for going and helps me appreciate those whom I befriend once I am there. I think it is important to do every once in a while. So, after a couple of weeks, I decided that it was time to go back and serve and love on people who are considered less fortunate than I.
When we showed up, the rain had subsided for a bit, allowing us to set up on our park bench and wait for the people to show up. One guy actually walked with us a couple of blocks and talked with us. Though I do not remember his name (I believe his name might be Daniel if my memory serves me right), I know that we have seen him almost every week. He just sat there, eating a sandwich and enjoying a cup of coffee. I could tell that he needed the company and we were there to provide that for him. As we began the night, a couple of guys showed up and got in line for some coffee. I had never seen them before but knew that we would be probably seeing them in the near future. They just grabbed their coffees and left. As I looked over, Gary was talking to a guy I had not met before and two other people were talking to a group of homeless people. As I sat and watched, I prayed that, in some small way, God would use me that night.
It was then that I met Chris. Chris was a homosexual who, being 6’6” and well built came and asked me for a cup of coffee. At first, I did not want to make a big deal about this new person I had met. The more flamboyant Chris acted, the more I felt a need to talk to him about whatever was on his mine, which, I found out, was more than I had bargained for. When I first noticed Chris, I noticed that he was wearing lip-gloss. I don’t know why I noticed that first, but truth be told, that is what I saw. At first, we just shot the breeze. “Where are you from?” and, “Where are you going to sleep tonight?” where the first thoughts on my mind. Though I guess I could have begun my conversation with Christ and his b/f Daniel (a different Daniel from the one in which we walked to Love Park with), I figured a “normal” conversation might be a good place to start. Chris was staying at a shelter not far from Love Park while Daniel roughed it on the streets. He had only been on the streets for a week and wanted out. Chris on the other hand seemed to love the streets and “meeting new guys” when he had the chance. Within a few moments, Chris got a phone call and had to go. They left on their way and I was left to wonder about what the phone conversation might have been about.
Before we were about to pack up and go, a man came up to our group and wanted to know if we had a sandwich. Unfortunately, we didn’t and so one guy from our group apologized. In hearing this, the man started cursing off the one guy in our group, stating that “we can’t feed the world” and stuff like that. He was really ticked off. He went off cursing and shaking his head.
After we prayed, Daniel (the guy who walked up with us) told us that he was glad that he was able to hang out with us. He was thankful that we were there and that our ministry was to the people of Love Park. He felt that we were doing a great work and it was actually affecting the other homeless people. He could tell how the people treated one another differently and attributed it to our ministry. I don’t know if it had to do with us being there (with the Lord’s leading of course) but I do know that we are making a difference. Even if it is only one person at a time, God is using us to touch lives and love people. Sounds like a good deal to me.