June 23, 2009
Woke up a few minutes ago and seriously thought of going back to sleep awhile longer, simply because I was feeling so warm and cozy! But then thought, no, I need my quiet time with You… maybe You have something special to say to me for today from Your word… and I can always have a mid-day nap later – I like those! And then I remembered that my next chapter in my epistle-reading is Hebrews 11 to 13, and that made me excited!
And then I remembered I still have the T to Z songs that I need to find chords for – and instantly felt joyful toward You for the chance to get those chords and play and sing those songs (You do have something in mind, I’m sure of it! I’ve been so long in a dry “wilderness” place when it comes to music-style praise and worship… and maybe just praise and worship – and prayer! – generally...) (mostly – there have been some amazing moments – and there has been some real learning of new ways to praise… worship… pray… and especially noticing amazing things I haven’t before, about Your beautiful world, and Your amazing children, and Your even more amazing love for them, and me!, no matter what! Wow!... and Your church, Your body, Your family, Your people, Your sheep (and folds!), Your beloved bride!). Well, anyway, I’m loving strumming my guitar… and I’ve even found on-line lists of songs (with chords) of all kinds, so I’m going to look and see if I’m missing any! And lots of on-line guitar teaching lessons too! Yay!
Oh, Papa… I have a little question… feeling like maybe it’s rude (or at least “intolerant” or “not PC!”) but may I ask You anyway? Please? Listen, I was walking around yesterday, and as usual, there were a bunch of street people just hanging out at the far corner of the park by the mouth of the creek… which, undoubtably, is a nice place to hang out… but Papa (and I’ve wondered this over and over through the years), how can people just “hang out”… I mean, it’s nice and relaxing and friendly now and then, but day in, day out, week in, week out… yes, even year in, year out?!?!? They seem to wake up about 6 or 7, get a coffee if they can, go hang out near the liquor store till it opens at 9 am, find a spot to sit and sip till 11:30 or so when it’s time to go to the soupateria; then find a comfortable spot (like in the park at the mouth of the creek) and sit there for the rest of the day, finishing their bottles until most of them are pretty much dozed-out-drunk (which, I suppose, is why Pastor P visits with them early morning… and me, too… you can actually have a good conversation etc, but later I find conversations increasingly inane and non-conversational, composed a lot of crass joking and crass laughter…
I am not comfortable (or even feeling safe, depending on who is there) going over and visiting them in the afternoon… Is that evil or prejudiced or whatever, of me? Or maybe just reality and common sense? Papa? Maybe I should ask Pastor P about it? …. Anyway, somewhere between 4 and 7 or 8 pm most of them just wander off and disappear for the night… (it really surprises me the difference in people when they are sober in the morning – and are lively, interesting, thoughtful – even Jesus-loving! people… and then they get the alcohol (and/or drugs… alcohol, generally cheap wine/sherry, seems to be the “drug of choice” among the “regulars” on the streets… there are younger ones who do drugs, but I think most of them don’t last too long… so sad all round…)
(It confuses me, Papa, how people can know and love You – apparently – yet remain in such bondage to the chains of the enemy in the forms of alcohol and drugs and the street life … there of course are some “success stories” for sure… but not so many??? But isn’t that true in the world generally – including among those whose lives look good… and even among those “in the churches” (with just as high or higher divorce rates, gossip, judging, not looking after one another, etc, as those “in the world”…)
Oh, Papa… the question I had (if I haven’t yet come right out and asked it – I think maybe I haven’t) – is, how can people sit around and basically “do nothing” day after day after day?!?! (Okay, that’s my question!) What kind of life is that?!?! And to be always “bumming” off others? And spending all their cash on booze etc? And deserting their real families for the “street family?” (Well, not everyone has a great “real family” to desert, of course…) (A lot of them really are family… really do take care of each other out there…) Is that why “churches” have tended to ignore them pretty much – because they “seem so lazy” and don’t seem to be interested in changing? (I was going to add, “or interested in giving back in some way”… but what I have experienced is that they do like to give back – even yesterday when I was handing out coffee, those young folks were eager to share their jar of jam with me… or to give me one of their collection of hood ornaments (guess, regarding those hood ornaments, that that’s one of those occasions when it’s best to accept graciously and not ask too many questions… like Paul talking about when people in his day offered to share their meat with you… which might well have been offered to idols…)
Well, it’s already 6:50 Papa! I’m going to finish Hebrews, then make hubby breakfast, and then off to coffee time! (Did I mention that the church is going to continue with it on their own? Cool!)
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please [God] for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
(thank You, Papa, that’s a big answer to my question, right there!!!).
Went to Tuesday coffee time after breakfast (took chocolate chip cookies). Few people, but enjoyable nonetheless. We started spouting off silly old autograph book rhymes… and then knock-knock jokes! Pastor P talked to me privately for awhile about his situation – and I offered for him to stay at our house while we’re away, so he phoned me a few minutes to take me up on it; he’ll come by tomorrow.
After coffee, GJ wanted me to walk with him downtown to where he had left his buggy. He says he’d like to get a rickshaw and give people rides who need it (like seniors)! Anyway, he gave me a potpourri thing that he made… and I gave him a couple cotton bags as he was saying carrying plastic bags dries his hands out. “Good trade!”