Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friends on the Street

Yesterday, I was back down at the overpass. We had a lot of people go down there with us this time. I think there were 12 of us that ended up down there. When we arrived, there were 7 or 8 men waiting on us. Most of them were new or newer faces. By the end of the day we had served about 15 men under the overpass and the leftovers had once again been delivered to others on the street. So, I’m not really sure how many men were fed yesterday.

Last week I told you that Q had been attacked and unable to come to lunch. But he showed up yesterday with a smile and a hug. He and C stood together. They always seem to stick together. I asked them how long they had known each other. C answered me, “About 8 months.” That’s when C moved into the parking garage that Q had been living in for 2 years. They’ve been looking after each other ever since. Q was quick to tell me that when he had been hurt last week, C walked with him to the hospital. And when he got out the next day, C was there waiting for him. Then C spoke up and said that when he is sick, Q is there to take care of him. (C suffers seizures). Q said, “We’re all each other have.” I really like the two of them. I wanted to tell him that’s not true, that they had me. But, I didn’t say that because I don’t know that it’s true. I do care about them but I show up for a couple of hours each week, when I can. They don’t really have me to count on in all circumstances. I am such a small part of their weeks. And, of course, that is what makes JM, who heads the ministry, so special. He is committed to the men he meets on the streets. He is their advocate. They really do have him to count on.

One of the things I’ve learned over the past few months is that people really aren’t that interested in the homeless. Sure, they are interested the first couple of times it is mentioned but after that, they lose interest and seem to wish I’d shut up about it. But I can’t. What I see happening is so amazing and such a blessing. How can I not talk about what I see God doing? People get hungry every week. People need to know they matter every week. The blessing of being a part of that is huge and there is plenty to go around so no, I don’t think by showing up one Sunday that I shouldn’t have to show up again for a while. I’m not saying that’s true for everyone. People have different callings and passions but that is the sort of attitude I get sometimes, that maybe I should put other things ahead of my street friends from time to time. But, I don’t want to and honestly, I’d miss them. I’ve thought about C and Q a thousand times since I saw them yesterday. I look forward to seeing them next Sunday.

A coworker and I are planning the Sunday meal in a couple of weeks, She, RC, has been going down there on Sundays too. She has become such a blessing to me. It’s so wonderful to have someone to share experiences with, who understands them. Like C and Q, RC and I have a common bond. We work together and we spend our Sundays under the overpass. When someone on the street tells me a story, I know I can tell RC and she will understand and know what I mean and where I coming from. I am so grateful for her. We asked C and Q what they might like the day we cook lunch. Q asked “What?” then they both just laughed and said whatever we cook will be fine. I don’t guess anyone has asked them that question in a long time. We still don’t know what we’ll cook for them. I’m pretty sure it will involve beans and maybe some banana pudding but outside of that, I guess it’ll be a surprise for C and Q.

1 comment:

  1. BTW if you are reading this, then you are not someone who makes me feel like I shouldn't be down there each week. For the record, I always like to be invited to things even if I can't go.