Saturday night

Saturday night we had one of those rare moments where someone volunteered to take our children for the night, so we decided to use the opportunity to check out the new Irish pub downtown. (This is why I love living downtown so much, we can walk to all the cool places.) We headed out and were halfway there when a homeless man in a wheel chair, with a dog, asked us where 6th Street was. “Three blocks that way,” I pointed. Turns out he was looking for the homeless shelter, which was quite a few blocks away. After we had given him directions and he started to wheel away Jim asked him if he was going to make it. He said “I hope so.” So Jim volunteered to push him for awhile.

We ended up pushing him all the way to the shelter. Jim wheeled him in the door and we wished him well, as we turned to leave we heard someone inside the shelter yelling at the man saying, “I told you to be here at 7pm. You can’t stay.” Feeling some responsibility now for this man, we went back in to try to work things out. Apparently this shelter has a strict policy: If you’re not there for the preaching, you don’t get to stay for the night (or meal).

After Jim was unable to get anywhere with the shelter, I tried to no avail. My stupid blackberry (luckily) took that moment to work and I was able to google and call the other shelter in town. When we found out they had room, we called the man a cab and waited for it to arrive so we could pay for it. The other shelter required that anyone staying with them blow a “0” on a breathalyzer and the man assured us that he could. I hope that when he got there, he did, and got to sleep somewhere warm that night.

Jim marveled at the exact timing involved… that we were walking by just as this man was crossing the street. I’m thankful for Jim’s willingness to help someone we could have just as easily walk right by.

I have to say, when I was in high school, I used to volunteer at that first shelter on Saturday nights. I don’t remember or didn’t realize their policy about not feeding people unless they were first there for the preaching. We work with a local nonprofit that supports 3 orphanages – 2 in Africa and 1 in Mexico. Their slogan is “Hungry stomachs have no ears.” How true. How can you hear anything anyone has to say when you’re starving… or freezing? How can the “salvation of your soul” mean anything to you when you’re too worried about making it through the night? I feel ashamed of those who wear Jesus’ name as a badge, but don’t act like him. I can’t help but think “Christians” are taking 1 step forward and 3 backward.

Category: church/spiritual beliefs 3 comments »

3 Responses to “Saturday night”

  1. LeAnne

    I’m so proud of you and Jim for doing the right thing. We need more people like you guys. Good for you.

  2. Wendy

    Hear, hear!


  3. Kate

    stumbled onto your blog while googling “lip balm and coconut oil” and am totally charmed by your website and writing. you and your husband have such kind hearts and an easy willingness to help a stranger in need. bravo!

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