Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What do you do with this?

This post from rhymes with kerouac hurts my heart. I wonder how many others left this world in much the same way or in a different way but without notice ..... what do we do with this.... I am overwhelmed.

From Daily Life in a Homeless Shelter .

One of our guys died on the weekend. I only found out about it today. There was no obituary in the paper and none in the local papers online. I don't know where his body is tonight.
He died, I'm told, of alcohol poisoning. He was truly homeless - that is, unsheltered - and came to our public meals program. In more than a year, I've never seen him sober. Not once. On one occasion I asked him point blank if he was going to let the booze kill him. He looked me in the eye and said, "Oh yeah, it is going to kill me". This statement was made without emotion except, perhaps, a grim determination. He was a man under sentence of death.
It took me most of today to figure out who he was. I never learned his name. A year from now I won't remember him at all. Right now I remember how he smiled when I said 'hello' to him each night before dinner. He would say hello back, and then the rest of the conversation would soon become unintelligible on his part. He simply wasn't capable of remaining coherent for more than a few sentences at a time. His hair was always matted and dirty, his clothes were filthy and he smelled bad. He often had cuts, scrapes, bruises or black eyes from having fallen - or been beaten - down. There's nothing more I know about him. Perhaps all I know is that I'm feeling like there's been a tear in the fabric of the universe tonight, that we've all experienced a loss, that the world is somehow a lesser place because he's gone.
A man came into the Mission to tell us of his passing, so I know he had at least one friend in the world, such as this world is. I'm writing this tonight because I want the universe to know that someone will mourn his passing. I want the universe to know that I know he was loved of God, and that I - to the best that I am able, will honour his life, will honour the image of God that was in him, and will lament that he is gone from our world.


Walking Church said...


You are expressing the heart of Abba.

I realize to set the goal of getting every one off the street is impossible.

Do you recall the Starfish - the guy going down the beach tossing one back into the surf at a time...He was criticized by a passer-by 'You can't possibly save all of them you know'...The guy picked up a starfish and tossed it into the surf and replied 'I made a difference to that one'.

I think our Lord does not burden our hearts to save em all by ourselves. But if you encounter those he wants you to help.

There are several 'causes' I like to financially help in my meager way - World Vision gift; IJM (org that rescues and gets the offender before the courts that exploit women, slaves and children - usually sexually); sponsored child.

Others I like are the Salvation Army, but there are many good Christian orgs.

The other thing is that I believe Ministry begins in your own home - if you are successful there you may prevent such a horror story from happening - is that not Christ like?

In Christ Alone said...

Yes, I hear what you are saying but this post....and many "rwk" make shakes my faith and practices ....and that Shane Claiborne does the same thing....I believe that God can do anything but so many hurting people and so few workers .... this story touches me because of the aloneness of man who died. How many are out there who have no-one around least this man had a friend and rwk. It still is overwhelming me as I read through the post. I pray that I never become immune to its impact.

In Him,