Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Consumed: An Update

So my first attempt at inviting Amy to church was unsuccessful.  I wasn't able to get a hold of her despite a few messages. She did tell me the last time we were in person that she can't see who calls on her phone.  So any phone message I left her may have gone unbeknownst to her.

Despite my sinking heart, I know my time is not lost with her.  All I know is if I don't do my part to seek her out, I'm not sure anyone else will.  She may not see the worth in herself, but I see her worth.  Which brings me to my crazy Sunday afternoon...

Sunday afternoon just sitting around cleaning and organizing and relaxing wasn't sitting well.  My mom and I decided to see if Amy was at our normal meeting spot.  I had a few things to give her and more importantly, I wanted to hug her neck.  She wasn't anywhere to be found.  None of our friends were.  Homeless people?  Yes.  But none that we have built relationships with.  We'll try again next week and keep trying until our next outreach on August 24th.  Ever since February, when we first met Amy, she has come to the outreach and makes sure she doesn't leave until she finds my mom or myself.  I will see her again.  She still consumes me, but I know have a new obsession.

Here's what has consumed me since Sunday...

We drove passed at least 50 homeless people, mostly men, hanging on the street.  A few groups here, a few more there, and some sitting by themselves about every few blocks.  Every few blocks there were also people going about their day seemingly oblivious to these men.  So busy with their own day or their own uncomfortableness that they cannot even make eye contact.

When did we become so desensitized that we fail to see people as people?  They are not scum of the earth.  Some may have done scummy things, but we are not our mistakes.  I try to remember that when looking at people now. You know that whole, 'Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover' thing?  At the very least, what harm is there in simply acknowledging people?

If I can ask one thing of you, acknowledge those around you.  Be so consumed with making meaningful contact with people that your personal agenda becomes secondary.  You will be blessed for it.  And with that, I have two stories to share with you.  One from our church, and the other about Dwayne.  Both are touching.  Both will leave you looking at how you go about your day differently, AND how you see people differently.

Please, please, please take time to watch the video and then read Dwayne's story.

Click the link to watch the video.  It is amazing how much you become consumed when you walk in the attitude of awareness;  being open and available to opportunities to help others.  It can be something as simple as what happens in this story.

 {photo credit: Jenny Thomas}
I want you to look long and hard at Dwayne's photo before you read the story and think, "If this man passed me by, what would I think of him?"  I can be real honest with you.  A year ago, I would have been sad for him, but judgmental and uncomfortable.  Now, I see his heart.  It is beautiful. 

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