Saturday, December 11, 2010

Under The Overpass

Living in the Northwest means you have no excuse to avoid outdoor exercise just because it is raining. I guess if that were the case we wouldn't get to do much! I shouldn't admit this because then I might need to be accountable but I am "training" to do a half marathon in May. Before you get all impressed let me state that I will be walking/stumbling/tripping through most of it. This is just a goal and I will do what I can to hopefully achieve it. Thankfully I have some friends I walk with and that helps keep the motivation up a lot!
During our walks our chats vary from the benign to social justice to war to poverty to theology and all points in between.
As I blogged the other day I just finished reading this book called "Under the Overpass." It was a recommended read by a couple friends and I was eager to read it. This book was based on an experiment. Two college guys who had jobs and homes decided to put homelessness to the test and so embarked on a homeless journey for 5 months. They left all their personal belongings and headed out with a backpack and sleeping bag from a thrift shop. They wanted to see first hand how homeless people were treated, how they survived day to day and what options were available that help the plight of the homeless. They did this throughout several cities (Portland being one of them.) The results were sad. Everything from how they were treated to how they got their next meal was really sobering. Very convicting on my end.

So I was sharing this book with my friends and we got to talking about tangible ways in which one can help. We shared our stories of help gone bad when you thought someone was homeless but they weren't stories.
I had to share THIS story with you though because it is awesome! I am still laughing about it, so hysterical.

My friend had 2 small girls at the time with a baby boy on the way. Throughout her pregnancy she had these insatiable cravings for Wendy's hamburgers. One day she had gone too long without eating having just finished her tutoring job and picking up her daughters. They drove across town to the Wendy's because she wanted one of their hamburgers. She orders and gets the girls seated plus herself but by now she is shaking she is so hungry. So here she is slamming this hamburger down when she is approached by a family who says to her, "We feel God is telling us to give you 10 dollars." Excuse me, He told you what??

Apparently the family thought she was in a bad way because the girls were munching on just a few fries (they had already eaten lunch) and I guess Mom was pretty intent on eating her burger. Now bear in mind my friend was in no way homeless or needy.

So my friend takes the money! She didn't want to embarrass the family by telling them that perhaps they 'misunderstood' what God was trying to tell them. I think He meant it was for the people sitting NEXT to her. No, just kidding but you get the idea. Very sweet of the family though to be sensitive to the possibility of someone needing help. My friend chalks it up to a very embarrassing moment in her life.

In light of that, during the 5 months the guys I mentioned earlier were only offered help from a passerby maybe twice at the most (other than missions.)

I think that family was pretty eager to serve, apparently a little too eager but neat to see their hearts especially in light of reading that book. That is more than I can say for myself, that's for sure!

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