Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One Last Thing Occidental Park



One thing that has stuck to me like glue as I continue to celebrate what God did at Occidental Park is that the homeless people became helpers. I didn't even realize until the next day that the woman that stood at the BBQ for hours and the man that was eager to help troubleshoot any problem, carry any heavy item or generally be great help, were homeless. They looked like the rest of us in many ways.

The woman, whose name I do not know, told Bonnie my daughter that she was thrilled to help. She said, "If I was in the park today, the police would just be pushing me out but today I am able to do something productive by helping."

That is a gift most Americans take for granted. Waking up each day and having a specific purpose to live out and goals to accomplish. Being homeless often means that the hours of each day are spent in absolute boredom, just waiting for the next day to arrive.

One of the men that was in the front helped become a bouncer in the line. His name was Robert and he had big muscles. My husband Bill recruited him to stand on one side and Bill stood on the other to help prevent line cutting and rioting! Robert got a couple of extra burgers for his work, but I don't think it was the food that motivated. It was the sense of purpose and productivity that came with the assignment.

The man who was the eager helper put the prayer canopy back in it's cover. It turns out that he came from Detroit two weeks ago and is waiting for kidney treatment. He's homeless at the moment.

Let's bring Robert, the man with the kidney issue and the BBQing woman to our minds as we remember that these are real live people with real life stories, and there were a thousand more of them at Occidental Park last Sunday!

1 comment:

heather said...

It sounds like this was so fantastic! I wish I could have been there! I pray many more meaningful encounters this next year!

I love you!