Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Under the Overpass with Rain and Pudding

This past Sunday when we pulled up under the overpass there were about 5 men waiting on us. It was RC and my week to do the meal and we fixed Ham, potato salad, watermelon, baked beans, banana pudding, rolls and cokes. A mighty fine meal… if I do say so myself. Clearly, I was responsible for the less difficult items to prepare. And of course, you know I didn’t do the potato salad because that involves one of my great fears in life, Mayonnaise. But, you’d be proud of me. I helped serve the potato salad and even though I can’t be sure I didn’t have a crinkle in my nose while doing it, I did it.

Soon after we had gotten the food out to serve, it began to pour rain. One minute RC and I were standing at the car filling plates all nice and dry and the next minute we were standing in a river of water several inches deep. It was CRAZY! And the wind was blowing everything around… it was a little chaotic. I think the rain kept many people away. I don’t think we fed more than 10 folks this past Sunday. But, we were still able to give most of the food away via to go plates.

I was glad to see that C was there again. He was funny. After we had gotten everyone a plate I turned around and saw him talking to some of the girls from the ministry. He saw me and said jokingly, “don’t pretend you aren’t going to come over here and talk to me.” Of course, I was headed his way. When I got there, he hadn’t started eating yet. But as RC and I stood there, he tried the banana pudding and went crazy over it. He finished it up almost immediately and RC got him another serving. Before he left that day, we filled a whole to-go plate with banana pudding for him. I don’t think I’ll ever see banana pudding the same way again. We told him we missed him last week and asked how Q and T were doing. He said he hadn’t seen them since last week. That scared me a little because I had no idea why and I had introduced T to them. Though I don’t know all the details and it is difficult to understand what C is saying sometimes, what I gathered is that everyone who stayed in their abandoned building was arrested last weekend. I’m not sure if it was for trespassing or for some other darker reason. Whatever their problems are, I believe Q and C are good people. It makes me sad they were arrested. As I stood there listening to his story I wanted to hug him and tell him I loved him and how sorry I was about what happened. But I’m not sure that would have been the thing to do for various reasons. There is so much I don’t understand about life on the street. But, I know it does often involve bad choices and I don’t want to seem to be something I’m not going to be able to be for them. Listening to C on Sunday made me really realize how much some of these people mean to me. I want an ideal world, I want them to be better and I want them to live happily ever after. C is trying to give up smoking cigarettes pray for him on that. Also pray for him while his friend Q is away. Pray for them both and for T.

My prayer request this week is that I am able learn people’s names better. I know I have asked several of the men 3 or 4 times what their names are and I keep forgetting. It’s hard to make someone feel like they matter when you can’t even remember their name.

Keep praying for the folks going down each week ministering to these men. The ministry isn’t just going down there to meet needs, they want to help people who want the help, get off the street.

I won’t be going down to the overpass next Sunday because I’ll be out of town. But, I’ll be back the following week.

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