Showing posts from September, 2011

A Look into Social Anxiety Disorder.

Here are 3 posts focusing on and looking at Social Anxiety Disorder:
The first 2 links focus on how certain homeless people struggle with social anxiety, while the final link focuses on my own personal struggle with it.

Frost Bitten, Social Anxiety and a Kingdom That Loves

Social Phobia Anxiety Disorder and Homelessness

Self Diagnosis: Social Phobia Anxiety Disorder

A Kingdom that Loves: Persevering in the Stench of Death

In my final writing on kingdom Love, I want to encourage us to embrace a forgiving grace and persevering hope. Kingdom Love can never be just a temporary reality; such a thought slanders the meaning and power of love! We must ride the waves with determination and prayer. It can and will continue to be extremely difficult to serve and befriend these homeless and precariously housed women and men I encounter daily. Frustration penetrates the ego. I have failed to love them all as I should, but Jesus has managed to use me and living this life has brought me so much joy. Yet, the nature of Christ-like love screams that it cannot just stop, Love must forgive and it must persevere!

John (pictured) died, in the rain, on a loading dock surrounded by his homeless buddies. His earthly suffering had ended; in and out of prisons, alcohol and a severe mental illness plagued this man known on the streets as “Johnny Stone" and "John the Baptist”. John caused trouble through his erratic p…

A Kingdom that Loves comes face to face with Hostility

I have been studying the concept of kingdom love; kingdom love is neighborly love which Jesus introduced into first century Palestine by word and deed. Kingdom love is a love that will respond to the person that stands before or beside us. Kingdom love will recognize a neighbor as individually unique and it will take him or her out of the masses. It will deny all stereotypes. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we are simply commanded to love each and every person we have human contact with “as ourselves”. Enemies, social rejects and those annoying personalities that endlessly grate us are our neighbors, and we must simply love them “as ourselves”. Everybody and anybody should become the fortunate victim of our kingdom love.

Then I explored a couple of ways of embracing some of society’s rejected and dejected souls with kingdom love: How do I love someone with a tainted reputation who could easily taint mine? A Gangster, A Tainted Reputation and A Kingdom That Loves!
And how do I demon…

Frost Bitten, Social Anxiety and a Kingdom That Loves

*this is part 3 in a series looking into the Kingdom of Revolutionary Love!
Part 1: A Charging Rhinoceros, Natural Ice and A Kingdom That Loves!
Part 2: A Gangster, A Tainted Reputation and A Kingdom That Loves!

Millions of ghosts wander helplessly throughout our mega cities, remaining invisible and ignored. People are lonely. People are lost. People are forgotten. People are alienated. The Kingdom of God calls us to open our eyes and love these distressed individuals that live among the masses. Opening our eyes requires us to use our spiritual imaginations to address the different needs we see and the different personalities we encounter. There is a wonderful array of talents that have been drastically forgotten. There are addictions and struggles which torture and hold in bondage countless souls.

The ongoing question that lingers in my mind is: How do I use my spiritual imagination to embrace and love (that being the love shown in God’s Kingdom) these roaming ghosts?

The gospels show …

A Gangster, A Tainted Reputation and A Kingdom that Loves!

For part 1: please read: A Charging Rhinoceros, Natural Ice and A Kingdom that Loves!

I stood on the blighted corner of Broadway and Wilson chatting with Ahmed. This particular day, I could feel the judgment coming down from certain factions of society. Stares were aimed in our direction and it wasn’t just the rich and affluent young urbanites, judgment also came from the men and women who shared shelter beds, soup kitchen lines and the sidewalks with him. It was a strange, but not unusual feeling, yet I knew that love was calling me to give Ahmed my full attention.

Jesus speaks passionately about this: when he lived and spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus displayed how irrational kingdom relationships will and need to be. It means inviting poverty stricken folk into our homes for a meal, fellowshipping with people of disrepute, canceling debt and giving beyond all rationality! Jesus wants members of His Kingdom to befriend undesirable people and tainted folks by inviting them to b…

A Charging Rhinoceros, Natural Ice and a Kingdom that Loves!

Dan was sitting on the alleyway stoop and was obviously inebriated. He was staring in my direction. He had that determined psychotic glare, where he rarely blinked; I’d seen this look many times before and it simply told me, “monster” Dan was present! He is diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, and therefore, takes a host of medications. These legal drugs do not mix well with the alcohol he daily drinks or the crack cocaine he occasionally smokes; this combination makes Dan become like a possessed beast! I have known him a few years and have hardly ever seen him sober. I often visited him in treatment facilities and have sadly observed the pattern of seeing him fall and fall and fall again. I have frequently picked Dan up, for him to only display outbursts of anger, manipulation and failure. The cans of beer and bottles of gin have gripped him tightly and he cannot seem to escape.
This particular Friday, Dan sees me and charges toward me like an irate rhinoceros, demanding servic…

Disillusioned Dreams and $100 Petty Cash!

The big G robbed the poor again. The State took from the ones who have next to nothing. Again! 100 lousy dollars! Yep; that's all I'm griping about; $100.00. There's many questions rattling inside my head, and I think they need to be asked; Why take from the poor? How about taking a portion from the politicians working in Springfield and Chicago? How about the State paid prison guards and the Illinois State Police? How about the wealthy suits making a nice profit off Illinois? Why take from the weakest of the weak, the poorest of the poor and the most fragile of fragile? The people we're talking about are men and women who are older, or folk who have a physical or mental disability that makes them unable to work. Why take from them to dig yourself out of the financial hole you dug? These are the perpetual questions lingering, lingering, lingering in my confused mind.  Most people are probably unaware of what happened on July 1st, 2011. A small section o…

Some Things Aren't Easy to Understand!

I'm troubled! Some things aren't easy to understand....

This is a little rant, because I just ...
... don't get it! 

Working with the homeless, it is inevitable that I'll see many highs and lows. In the last couple of weeks, I have witnessed plenty of both: The positives being all the wonderful movement that's been happening recently (Exodus) and one extremely negative incident was the tragic murder of one of our homeless men recently.

What is troubling me today is what happened to Devonte*. As I have written many times before, homeless men are much more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, than the offender. A couple night's ago, Devonte became another victim!

Devonte sleeps outside where a fairly large number of homeless men and women lay their weary bones. This is a place where they all know each other. It's a place where they hope and pray they won't become a victim to some random cowardly thugs who want to bully some homeless dudes. It's a pl…

Exodus: Movement of Our People!

Time for a little change in direction. Three of my latest posts have focused on the victimization of the homeless. The brutal murder of one of our men (Murdered While Homeless), the unfair and discriminatory ratio that lingers in Chicago regarding marijuana arrests (The Exception to The Rule!) and how Obama's birthday party affected many of our residents (Disillusioned Dreams and the President's Party)! This story's focus is completely and utterly different. I get tired of a few of my neighbors love affair with calling our little stretch of pavement "blood alley", because if people actually stopped, observed and stood still for a moment, they'd see a very different reality; HOPE! As a reaction to this ongoing label, I've already written a wee piece on that called: Hope Alley: The Redemption of "blood" alley. This story is also about that 4 letter word HOPE. Hope is something that never ceases to spring up in Clifton Avenue! Someti…