Showing posts from February, 2012

The Mind is a Fragile Thing!

Imagine waking up one morning in the homeless shelter you've staying at for a few months. Imagine wandering across the street, like you usually do, to eat your breakfast and chat to all your friends you've made there. Everything's normal this morning, you're eating your grits, sipping your coffee and enjoying the company that surrounds you. You're ready for a new day of seeking employment and making appointments.

Imagine this particular morning, you've been chatting to the shelter's security guard, who's a relatively close friend. You express to him how frustrating it's been trying to get a security position yourself. You have a PERC card (document needed to be a licensed security guard), but you just can't get that job. You chat, vent and joke around with him before enjoying your morning meal.

Imagine finishing breakfast and it's time to leave the cafeteria. That same security guard approaches you and starts chatting to you again, but you …

Mysteriously Dead OR Mysteriously Alive?

There's a mystery in homelessness I hate!
Sadly it happens too often!
People disappear and we don't know whether they're dead or alive!

I'm living that reality right now; there are three homeless friends who have mysteriously vanished, leaving us bewildered and unsure of how to find them. We are searching! We check the local hospitals, nursing homes, Cook County Jail and the IDOC website, but there is no answer. We ask, we question and explore, but still there is no answer. People ask me, but in a massive city, with multiple hospitals, the task is time consuming and very difficult. We just need to wait, patiently, for clues and answers. All we can do is pray!

Throughout my years of working with men and women who are homeless, convincing rumors have splattered the Uptown pavement. I've heard tragic tales of death and murder, only to see that individual, days, weeks, months or even years later, and we celebrate their "resurrection". When I left to New Zeala…

Visibly Invisible OR Invisibly Visible: A Homeless Predicament.

Brian and I were meeting and discussing a few homeless people we work with. Our focus turned to a couple of fellas who had recently been incarcerated, in particular, a 50 year old veteran friend who we had just assisted to get housed. We grieved over his plight! We questioned how veterans can faithfully serve this country, only to end up homeless, incarcerated, ignored, dejected and struggling with too many vices. We mourned over how our buddy Dre mirrored this reality.His plight didn't just cause us to grieve, but also sent a rumbling of anger through both of us and a shiver of hopelessness in the system that seems too big and powerful to care or even dent. Another sad reality is, Dre's story is not unique, but a story that is all too regular amongst the homeless population. As we sat there, we could both recall the desperation, the tears, the struggle and the endurance of this man. Dre had fought a battle, he had won, he had got a place to call his own, only to lo…

Two Homes, One Journey

It's become our routine. All be it, an expensive routine! Every 3 years we have the privilege of traveling "down under" to Aotearoa. There is no way we can afford to do this, simply because Beth and I have made decisions to live in an intentional community and work amongst the homeless in Uptown. Years ago, we both decided to try and live out the Kingdom of God; by following the revolutionary footsteps of Jesus, embracing a simple lifestyle and being a voice for the voiceless. By doing this; such travel, by our own means, quickly becomes impossible! Yet, our family is happy to proclaim; the impossible becomes possible mainly through the amazing generosity of our NZ church family. We are grateful. We are blessed. We were given the opportunity to return home!
As our lives skip back and forth through the affluence of southern hemisphere summers to the poverty of the northern winters, my life of two lives consumes me. This rotation isn't ever easy. The tra…