Saturday, July 05, 2014


A couple weeks ago I had several random conversations with some interesting people. First, a guy came in to work who runs the downtown Salvation Army rehab program. He is from Australia, so he has a really cool accent. We chatted for a bit about ministry (he used to work as a pastor in a church) and about the work he does now - as well as what Isaac has been doing. It was a nice chat, and he is a super nice guy. He commented that working with addicts is much more fulfilling than working in your typical church setting. Mostly because addicts know they need help - and want it. Many church folk are unaware, or afraid to admit it.

Later that night I was downtown at the library listening to the free music they offer every Saturday night. I was just picking up food since Jane and I were babysitting the grandkids. While I was waiting for the burgers to cook (and, yes, I had a couple beers) I was standing in the back where a group of homeless folk usually gather. I was just standing there minding my business and this young-ish guy gets up and just starts talking to me. He said he used to have a respectable job tending bar at CS3. He noted how he used to wear a shirt and tie and whatnot. Said he'd just got out of jail, and he was probably going to head out to California. He told me he would either hitchhike or jump trains. I have no idea if any of it was true, but I thought it interesting that he picked me out of all the people there and just sort of blurted things out. I just had on gym shorts and a white t-shirt, so I was pretty poorly dressed myself. I dunno... It was just kinda weird, and I felt good to listen to him.

Just now thinking..... It seems a lot of church leaders talk about how we (the church) need to change how we do things - we need to go TO the people, instead of just waiting for them to come to our church programs. Yeah... I don't disagree with that. But I'm not sure many of them know what they're actually talking about. I don't know that I do either, but... I don't know. I probably shouldn't write about church stuff anymore.

Anyway, that's just some stuff.


MR said...

I think when you're looking for people who really need your flavor of help, the light is better in the church, but really a lot of those people are going through the motions, fulfilling their obligation, or hiding there because they're passive aggressive. Then you've got good people there, who don't need you. What I find interesting about that guy picking you out is that it's a microcosm of what I think is the reality, that your path will intersect with those who need you--just insofar as your Boss sets those paths (not the one at the storage place). I don't even think you need to walk the earth like Jules (hit man), I think they will come to you like this guy did. I think the people you encounter going forward will bring profound meaning to past events. There may be a lot of truth to the irony that you find something only when you stop looking for it.

MR said...

If the above doesn't make sense, then, in a nutshell, you're like the guy from Quantum Leap.