Posts Tagged ‘homelessness’

My Life Without: Night 1

January 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Minneapolis is beautiful. Today was an in-between day. I spent a few hours in Uptown walking around. That was interesting. Didn’t see a lot of homeless. Didn’t talk to anyone really. It was strange. I felt closed up, afraid. Not afraid to talk to people, but afraid to talk and leave thinking the conversation wasn’t powerful and life-changing for the person I was talking to. That anything less is failing. I felt alone and awkward. I don’t belong with the homeless. I am not one of them. Uptown was depressing because I depressed myselt with inaction. Going on no sleep has been difficult. After Uptown I hung out with CPCers and then Dubs drove me to downtown Minneapolis. I know where a bunch of homeless people are, but tonight I’m doing it alone. I feel alive here. There aren’t many churches in the downtown area, probably cost of property. I want to be here for a long time. Tonight I might get kicked out of where I’m at, a ledge in an alley off the blacktop. Tomorrow and for the week I have a few goals.

1. find a place where I can get a meal
2. Meet some people
3. Prayer and Scripture at the Library
4. Beg some money
5. Spend the night with other homeless
6. Break my social chains: Satanic chains, sin chains, fears, and live free
7. Tell someone about Jesus
8. Learn something new about myself
9. Listen better
10. Fully engage people in light of the presence of God in and around me


My Life Without: Day 3

January 10, 2008 2 comments

Last night was pretty funny. An inebriated mexican came in and laid down next to me, then he started swearing a lot in English with a drunken accent 3/4 mexican, 1/4 south minneapolis, reacting with those same 5 swear words to anyone who told him to shut up. Funny… if you were there. Then he was quiet for a little bit and commenced singing en espanol what seemed like a love song in this loud drunken mexican voice. He’s keeping everyone in the place awake. As he was lying down he was doing dramatic hand motions, a la an opera singer. The guy next to me says, “Man I wish I had a video camera.” I wish I did too. Then I’d put it on YouTube. And you’d all laugh.

I woke up really tired. At first I wondered why, but then I realized that I haven’t slept anywhere near enough over the last four nights. I was thinking about getting up early, but kept collapsing back down on my pillow. When I finally got up, I think it was 6:00 AM. I walked around for a while and then found my way back to the community college/technical college/university of minneapolis. I think that’s all the names it has. There I read some scripture and had a strange accidental nap where I dreamt that I woke up in the FTC house with Nate and Nate and I rode on a banshee, he drove while I held on with one hand and we went through fields while I grabbed flowers as we flew by. The I woke up back in the college, shocked that I was still in Minneapolis. Both sad that I wasn’t home and excited that I was still there. This opened something up in me, however. After that I told God that I didn’t want to be here a week, but as long as He wanted me here. I just asked that He would guide me and lead me so that I was here for the amount of time He has allotted. Then I made my way to Mary’s to get some breakfast. Throughout most of the day, I imagined what it would look like to stay for two weeks. The relationships that I could build would be awesome and I would probably get a much better idea of what homelessness looked like. I hung out around town, then went to the library to do some internet use, and then reading/praying/listening to God. Cool stuff. After that I left to hang out with Steve Wiens. I let him buy me a meal because I had to skip one at Mary Jo’s to spend time with him. Everything was pretty chill. Honestly, I am quite surprised by how easy it is to find food and shelter as a homeless person. The life itself is not difficult in terms of survival. Getting out of it probably is, but I do still think that it would not take much for me to get out of it, just some motivation and the willingness to put forth the effort to get out. There are some homeless that because of a condition probably cannot escape it. There are some who are in it temporarily, and that is understandable. But ultimately it’s a condition of sin that needs healing in the same manner as other sins by the forgiveness and power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Later on that day, something surprising occurred. After walking away from my meeting with Steve to find some people to hang with, I felt the strong sense in my spirit that this was over. I argued against it for a while. I really wanted to see this through a week at least and there was much I wanted to do yet. I prayed through it. I called a friend and he prayed for me. I asked God why, and it felt like he said there’s work to do in the Eau C. So, I’m back. Kind of sad. Very surprising, but I feel a deep peace about it. I’m excited to be here too. I really enjoyed my time there however. I’m really excited to go back and love people from a different spot. May God be with the area. May God go there and move in people’s hearts. May we find the field ripe for harvest. May we be healed, prepared, equipped, prayerful, confident, peaceful, gentle, bold, full of love for God and others, and filled with the Holy Spirit – ready to live in proper relation to God by letting Him flow through us into the world.

My Life Without: Day 2 (Tuesday)

January 9, 2008 Leave a comment

Today I ate. Good news. I ended up waking up at Salvation Army at 4:30 AM. So I didn’t get as much sleep as I had hoped. It was still comparatively amazing. I walked to the library, found out it didn’t open until 10 AM, went the the Community College Library, which blows, did a little bit of reading, then left and got my first meal from “Mary Jo’s Place” aka Sharing and Caring Hands. People just call it “Mary’s” though. It was delicious. Then I went to the Mpls library and got on the computer, found some other places to eat, and wrote the stuff I put on the blog. Then I went down to Mary’s and got another meal – yeah baby. Having a lot of energy I went on a trek to find Hard Times Cafe. It took over an hour for me to find the place. It’s probably a 45-60 minute walk taking a more direct route to my place. It’s pretty trendy. Racy’sesque, but a little nicer because the decor comes together a little bit better. There weren’t any homeless people there, at least none that seemed to be homeless. Speaking of which, all homeless people have money. I don’t know where they get it, I should find that out, but I don’t have any money. From what I’ve seen, not all of them beg. I actually went and sat in Hard Times Cafe without buying anything.

Life feels easy again already. Weird huh? I kind of wish something would happen that would make it more difficult here. Other than my feet being absolutely disgusting (I’m waxing them in my sister’s crap when I get back to the Eau C), life isn’t too shabby. I have food, I have shelter, and the coffee at Mary’s isn’t horrible. I’m even able to access the internet. Cool beans. One thing that hasn’t happened is great conversations. Every attempt I make at having a conversation is usually cut at the point of intimacy and trust. The conversations have mostly been forced, awkward, and goal oriented. I’ll keep trying. And try harder.

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