Wednesday, September 28, 2016
When I read the following quote by Jeremy Taylor, a 15th century Anglican Priest, I had to smile and, frankly, had to agree.
"Some of us come into the world without any other interest in the affairs of the world, but that they made their parents a little glad, and very sorrowful. Some come into the world and live a few years like a bubble, empty and gay, and shine like a dove's neck or the image of a rainbow, which has no substance and whose very imagery and colors are imaginary; and so he dances out the gaiety of his youth, and is all the while in a storm, and endures only because he is not knocked on the head or crushed by the pressure of a load of indigested meat." Jeremy Taylor
"My work here is not to please the speculative part of men, but to minister to practice, to preach to the weary, to comfort the sick, to assist the penitent, to reprove the confident, to strengthen weak hands and feeble knees, having scarce any other possibilities left me of doing alms or exercising that charity by which we shall be judged at doomsday. It is enough for me to be an under-builder in the house of God, and I glory in the employment. I labor in the foundations; and therefore the work needs no apology, for being plain, so it be strong and well laid. But, my Lord, as mean as it is, I must give God thanks for the desires and the strength...." Jeremy Taylor
I worked a few hours in Union Gospel Missions event called, "Operation Overcoat." They have a big event where they ask vendors to donate products and hundreds of volunteers help with services like dental, hair cutting, flu shots, and of course, lots of clothes all in booths where a very organized plan allows those in need to get what they need in preparing for cold weather etc. They also have a food court with big grills frying up burgers and hot dogs. I worked in the food court as simply "hospitality". Helping anyone who had need. I talked and prayed with a few young men and women who were destitute and I pray it bears fruit. But the thing I remember most was one very old woman, pushing a wheeled walker with her plate of food balanced on it as she looked for a seat. I asked her if I could carry her plate for her and help her to a seat. As I walked with her as she shuffled along, my hand on her back, which was but skin and bones, I felt such warmth for her. I'm sure the speculations of men may count that as little but in that moment I felt as if I were escorting the King of Kings.
Monday, September 26, 2016
"Charm has a magical quality that defrosts, disarms, delights and fascinates. It is not a sudden gush of sweetness that can be turned off and on like a faucet. It is woven subtly into the fabric of a personality, like a silver thread. It glistens. It shines and wears well. For months. For years. Forever." Ann Landers.
Friday, September 16, 2016
"High as heaven, that is the calling wherewith we are called. But this very height makes it seem impractical or impossible. It is natural to say - That was well enough for one so transcendently gifted as Paul to hope for: but I am no gifted person -- I have no iron strength of mind -- I have no optimistic or positive hopefulness of character --
I am disposed to look on the dark side of things -- I am undetermined, weak, vacillating; and beside that, I have a whole army of passions and follies to contend with. We have to remind ourselves of one thing we have forgotten: It is the high calling of God if you will; but it is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. What the world calls virtue is a name and a dream without Christ. The foundation of all human excellence must be laid deep in the blood of the Redeemer's cross, and in the power of His resurrection." F. W. Robertson.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Another young woman in her mid twenties came in for lunch at the mission and she was average looking, very lean and using heavy. She was doing what they call the "flail" which is moving about in a way that her body is difficult to control, not as though she were drunk, but it almost looks like the behavior of someone with M.S.
She was clothed in the most distressing manner; clothes dirty and messy, and her pants were unbuttoned and drooping off of her to the point her pubic hair was showing. She had the street grime on her feet and hands and I felt I just had to help her in some way and asked if we had a belt for her. We didn't but I realized it was impossible for me to do anything because she wasn't coherent and I'm sure she would have become combative if I had tried to help her in any way. I looked for a female volunteer but to no avail. So, I handed her the lunch and watched as she reeled and lurched her way out. Here I was right in the building where she could find safety, shelter and counsel and I was impotent to do anything. She just haunted me and her state of vulnerability was so perilous I just couldn't imagine her going a day without suffering some brutal attack. I found myself wondering whose daughter this was and the blood chilling horror they would feel if they saw her in this condition.
The following day, and for a week now, she has been on my mind. We hear of people that are found dead and castaway in the city from time to time and I realized she may well be in one of those reports. So I write her story to help me remember to pray for her because I know at some point my memory of her will fade and she will become just one more nameless person on the streets. Oh God, help keep her safe.