Friday, October 21, 2011
Sooo, Thursday night I found myself back at the lot on 5th Street. The lot where things happened, the lot where i think I will look back and say, that's where my life changed - again. Thursday night the lot was empty, no one sleeping in cardboard boxes or tents. No signs of life, no painted signs of scripture or explanation. No one sitting on the steps waiting to engage a passerby to give a sandwich, a smile, or an invitation to listen, or join in a prayer service.
Anthony's Plot (check them out on fb), is what I describe as a neo-monastic community. They call themselves an intentional community loving and engaging those in need. Last week, to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger, members of Anthony Plot slept in cardboard boxes and other makeshift shelters in a vacant lot on 5th Street across from the downtown WS library. They invited Hillsdale to be part of the movement by sharing our food with the homeless and hungry folks several days. And we did. Yet, I found myself there at other times just hanging out and interacting w the homeless who would hang out there.
Then several of us from Hillsdale Church decided that wasn't enough, we wanted to stand in solidarity and support of the homeless, yet also with Anthony's Plot and what they were doing. So we stayed there Monday evening, and all night, and Tuesday morning joining in evening and morning worship, sharing what food various people brought. We sat, and talked and listened as those without homes shared their stories of life and how they arrived in their current situation. I saw those, with what we would consider nothing, share food, or what little money they had, with those around them. I saw love in action from the homed and the homeless. I was hugged by and I hugged people who hadn't bathed in days, people who didn't have tissue paper to blow their nose. I saw folks who were sick and hurting, physically, mentally and emotionally who didn't have medication that most of us get so easily. I saw people like you and I but for various reasons don't have a place to sleep at night. And I saw followers of Jesus love these people, empower them, and listen to them in ways of authenticity that you and I hope to achieve. I needed more, so I stayed again Tuesday night in the rain.
The best way I can explain it is that being there felt right. Were there times of apprehension?, and even fear?, yea, but despite that it felt right. It felt like Jesus was there loving those in need and me. As I process and ponder these experiences, the Heavy D song, 'Now That We've Found Love, What Are We Gonna Do With It?' keeps coming to mind. What do I do? What does God want me to do with this? It scares me. But not as much as living the normal, expected, american-dream type of life.
More later as I process this and evolve. God loves ya, me too! Kel out