Thursday, August 19, 2010

Under the Overpass

I just finished a great book called Under the Overpass. It’s by Michael Yankoski. If you haven’t heard of him, then you have probably heard of his wife Danae. She cowrote Crazy Love with Fancis Chan.

I stumbled across Under the Overpass a few weeks ago and immediately went to my local library to check it out. FYI if you live around me, it’s not at a library in our area but you can still get it through Inter-Library Loan which is what I did.

Even if the homeless are not a calling for you, it is a very interesting and eye-opening read. It’s an account by Yankoski of living 5 months on the street in 6 different cities and what he experienced. Really, it’s a very interesting read and a fast one. You should get it. It's the story of what it’s like for someone to live on the street and how people, even people who call themselves Christians respond to them.

Here’s the thing about me, as much as I love going down to my overpass each Sunday, if you were to transport me to a different location today with similar circumstances, I don’t know what my behavior would be. Would I show compassion for people? I don’t know.

I can tell you that last month when I went out of town, I found myself surrounded by men clearly living on the street and I did not respond in any way that might be considered compassionate… I responded in an unsure of my surroundings/nervous/careful not to make eye contact way. And, it didn’t even occur to me that I had done that until a week later. If Michael Yankoski had been one of those men, he wouldn’t have been able to report anything good about me. NKW was with me at the time. She responded to the men as if they were normal as if it was no big deal they were around us and I remember thinking at the time, “You are crazy. These men do not look like the people we need to be around.” I didn’t say that out loud, I just thought it. But now looking back, I realize that she was just treating them like people. While I’m not saying you shouldn’t be careful on the streets, I am saying I don’t want to treat anyone like they aren’t people or like they don’t matter. I hope if I am ever in that situation again, I respond like NKW or better yet, like Christ.

Yankoski’s book isn’t judgmental…. But I’m telling you, it might make you see things differently.

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