The Word on the Street - 9.15.2022
We were very glad to see Terry on the corner again today with her granddaughter Cissy and knowing Earl was at home with their grandson Bugsy, both of them recovered after a bout with Covid. Praise God for health! Spurgeon would say it is one of God’s greatest blessings, our health. Exceeded only by the blessing of sickness, he said. A friend of mine said, when you are sick you are on your back – looking up.
It was snack week downtown and we offered a few treats that could be stowed away on the persons of those who were coming through the line. I wish we could serve a heartier meal, though the homeless do receive a breakfast each Saturday morning at St. Philip’s Cathedral.
Do you remember the fairy tale of stone soup in which a poor, wandering soldier brings some rocks to the pot and offers to serve up a delicious simmering broth to the townsfolk? Having turned out to see such a foolish fellow, all the neighbors start bringing out vegetables they had squirreled away that winter, as the soldier tastes the soup, suggesting it needs carrots, etc. In the end, it is the delicious, simmering soup he promised. I think if we place our trust in the Rock and come together as His people, we ourselves will make the soup. “Do you love me, Peter?” Jesus asked three times in John 21 of the one who denied him three times. “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” May we so demonstrate our love for the Shepherd, feeding His sheep the hearty meal He is preparing, the wedding feast.
I guess Mike and Tom got caught up in the festivities as this picture would seem to indicate, with Keith calling the tune.
Perhaps they were celebrating the new job Stephen got recently. Praise God for all good things He blesses us with! Stephen says he got paid for one day’s work as he got adjusted to his employer’s pay cycle. His employer sent him an email asking him how much he liked his job after a week of work with one day’s pay to show for it. I gathered he answered most graciously while seeing the droll humor of that email!
Terry introduced me to John, the older gentleman who had earned my admiration in a previous blog for his wisdom bringing peace and the voice of the 60’s civil rights movement to those waiting in line who would otherwise have perhaps descended into violence. Blessed indeed are the peacemakers!
Wayne and I met another fellow named Sean who mentioned Hebrews 4:12-13 but couldn’t remember the words (I am getting that way myself, brothers and sisters!).
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
I told Sean how I could never lie to my mother. She would say, “you have lying eyes”. Why do we try to hide our sins, as though we could hide them even from God? I did remember 1 John 1:8, despite my age: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
We may deceive ourselves, but not God. And probably not our mothers!
I am listening to Tchaikovsky’s string quartet No. 1 in D Major, before bedtime on this day, 9/11 again, when I remember being in LA three hours behind the news, waking up to the fact the world had changed forever. I have a t-shirt that reads “Normal isn’t coming back. Jesus is.” I haven’t seen hide nor hair of normal for the past 21 years! So, I am waiting for Jesus, knowing He is wherever two or three are gathered in His Name. Reminds me of something the poet Rilke said, “And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back my too-sudden image”. Now we see through a glass darkly indeed!
I am thinking about my friend from the street, George, whom I visited in the hospital this week in CTICU, where he sleeps quite possibly at death’s door. All of us will be where George is now, someday soon, and I wonder how our lives will sound to us when they are replayed in our minds for the last time? Will we regret the harsh notes of discord blaring in our ears again? Or will we hear the sweet name of Jesus and experience the soothing peace that transcends understanding?
George’s eyes opened and I asked if I could pray for him. He nodded. As I raised my prayer from the dying man on the bed to the dying man on the cross, I hope George found a little peace in hearing that he has the victory over death in Jesus Christ!
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:55-57 KJV)
I am also praying for Cinderella, who has been by George’s side the last 29 years. She needs a place to stay, a place where she can bring George home because to be on the street, she says, would kill him in his condition. I think there is a real sense in which poverty issues a DNR card to its victims. Cinderella said the hospital called to ask if they could pull the plug on George. In some countries I have been, they would not ask first. Please keep George and Cinderella in your prayers!
And that is the Word on the Street!
For more information, or to learn how to join us in reaching people for Jesus, please email Living Water’s Director of Outreach, Mike Bongo, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get you plugged in! You will be blessed as you become a blessing to others!