Stories from the Homeless (27)

I had an individual tell me the other day that the reason they don’t help the homeless is because they have not been invited to do so. Let me write that again: I had an individual tell me the other day that the reason they don’t help the homeless is because they have not been invited to do so. I didn’t know they had to be invited to be the light of Christ. I didn’t know that one had to be invited to be the ears and eyes of Jesus. I guess I missed the invite or something because I thought it is just supposed to be a lifestyle thing. I guess I have to find that list though. God knows I don’t want to do something like helping those who are less fortunate simply because I wasn’t invited to help. That would just be horrible if I lost my invitation. I must be around here somewhere.

Seriously friends. When we have to be invited to help the homeless, I am no longer helping the homeless. I will sit on the couch and eat ding-dongs all day until I get sick. If you want to make an excuse for not loving the poor or help those who are less fortunate than yourself, please don’t tell me the reason is because you weren’t invited. If you really want to piss me off, then be my guest. What a load of crap.

Tonight we had a group of 7 of us go. They weren’t invited to go. They just showed up and decided that they weren’t going to sit on their ass. They wanted to serve God and others. Sounds like a good plan to me. I guess it sounded good to them as well. We went to the Free Library again. Seems like we have better luck there than Love Park. We can be a little more “grass roots” with our approach, which I think most of us really wanted from the beginning.

Seeing it was another busy night, I walked around for a little. I saw Danny again. He was wearing a “Hell boy” hat and shirt (both red) and a pair of blue shorts. He said that he had his first shower in almost a month, which is good because I was sitting next to him and was not prepared to smell what he might have smelled like had he not showered. We sat and talked about drugs for a bit. He was and still is a big drug user. His “claim to fame” as he calls it is crack. He says that is why he is on the streets in the first place. He doesn’t want to have a lot of money because he would just buy crack with it. As long as he has his health and his teeth, he says he is okay with living on the streets. He is about to have his 49th birthday soon. He doesn’t get angry when people look at him wrong because he blames himself for his issues and his current situation. I guess that is good that he places the blame on himself rather than others but I wonder how much would have changed if he had someone to encourage him and disciple him as it were. I am not sure if I could answer that at this point but perhaps he would be a little different about all of this. I couldn’t tell at that moment but looking back, I think he was high. He said he also liked weed and did pretty much anything to do it. Sexual favors were easy enough (guy or girl) if he could get something to keep him mellow.

The guy who was with him was no different. He said his name was Doug and has been on the streets for about 10 years. He was a scruffy looking guy with a black hat, a gray shirt, and a pair of size ten shoes he says was one size too big for him. He panhandled all the time. He figured it was better than stealing because people would always give a dollar here and a dollar there. After a good three or four hours, he would have well over 100 dollars. I thought perhaps he was lying until he showed me the day’s work. Not too bad for a homeless guy with a decent gut. He didn’t need any food tonight. He said he had a 32 oz stake and was full.

We then talked about wasting food and how horrible it was that we do it so often. I agreed with him, telling them that I work in a restaurant that wastes a lot of food. He said the rich have it too easy. Doug said he would eat whatever people wanted to throw away while he washed dishes for a fancy restaurant. The owner found out and he was fired for eating food that no one wanted. He couldn’t understand what the problem was and, I guess if I was in his position, I wouldn’t either. I left Danny and Doug and told them that I might see them next week (which is usually up to them and where they are on a Monday night).

I then meet John and “Sparkler” – two people who were not married but assumed the marriage role for one another. This included anything that “married couples do.” John was wearing a maroon shirt and pair of blue jeans while Sparkler wore a gray hoodie and a green skirt that was torn in several areas, showing its age. We began talking about the homeless situation in this area of the city. They said that it was hard because people wouldn’t accept them into their fellowship because they weren’t drug dealers or ‘investors.’ John is working on a book while Sparkler makes the money doing whatever she seems to do. She was quiet a lot of the time. John did most of the talking for her and he. I guess that is how it works. As I looked at John’s arms, I could see that he was lying about the drugs because there were needle marks all over them. When I asked about them, he looked down, then looked at me, and said that was an “issue” he had a long while ago and it was fixed. I guess I was mistaken about the earlier comment. He wasn’t lying, or so it appeared. I had no reason not to believe him.

After talking to those two for a while, we headed back to our cars and prayed. I am glad we did. Next time someone says that have to be invited to help the homeless, I hope I am not around. We all have a responsibility to those in need. We are never above anyone or any issue that comes about. We must do our part and help those who need it most. It is our responsibility. Let’s get to work!

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