Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Jesus in the Park : Homeless Project 2008 Knoxville
Here's a video clip of the Jesus in the Park event that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. You can see for yourself why participating was so humbling and so inspiring. It was provided by the great folks at Souled Out Ministries.
Several years ago when we lived in North Carolina I worked for a nonprofit that ran a soup kitchen, men's and family homeless shelter and domestic violence programs. There, my eyes were opened on the difference between homeless people and street people. And, I learned that anyone can wind up on the streets or homeless.
Two stories worked their way into my heart.
One day a family walked in seeking shelter. Dad and mom recognized me immediately. I had met them the week before when the family sang for a fall event at my husband's church. They had been hard to get in touch with. Cell phone reception had never been good in our area. No one ever suspected that they were living out of their car.
Communicating with a man who stayed in the men's shelter was tough. His mind was so bad that he would ask our names repeatedly. I'm not sure he ever did get mine straight. We heard different stories about what happened. The only thing we could ever verify came from his sister. She brought pictures to show us. The man in question had, at one time, run a law library for a major university. The photos showed him looking different, happier and more alert.
Somehow, the family had lost contact with the brother. She was glad to know where he was. She seemed very relieved to find out that he would be watched after and fed while she worked on other details of his life.
Every homeless person, every street person is someone's sister, brother, daughter or son. They each have a story. The video above only gives us a tiny glimpse but it's a glimpse worth watching and worth remembering.