A morning walk on the streets
Last week Luke and I participated in a Portland forum on homelessness. We made some great connections and heard some good things, but that’s not what I want to share.
The day started with a “Walk of Awareness” where we were supposed to pause and try to see the city through new eyes. The walk wound past more than a dozen service sites, only one of which did anything to greet the walkers.
I’ll be honest: I was skeptical. A pack of ministry leaders and pastors walking the cold streets between two warm meeting places. OK.
I made a decision to give the walk a fair shake. I cleared my mind and headed out, ready to encounter whatever God and the streets had for me that morning.
And I met a friend right outside our starting point, then another before the first corner. People living outdoors who knew my name. I stepped inside a day center and was greeted by more than a dozen friends. I’ve spent time there just talking with people, well more listening than talking. My friends have more to say than I do.
As we continued on it suddenly struck me – this place is home. It’s like a great big room in my house. It’s where friends are and where I feel natural. That’s never occurred to me before. I’m not just used to the streets, I feel a part of them, a sense of “home” that doesn’t make rational sense.
So I’m thankful for the walk and the chance to reflect. And I’m thankful for a calling that puts me where I’m needed and wanted. And I am so thankful for all my friends who are the ones extending the “welcome home” to me on the streets of Portland.
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