Monday, March 10, 2008

Jay's Vision

Happy Monday, PDX!

It was a blessed night at Operation Nightwatch Evening Worship. Blessed in most ways. After worship I visited with a quiet man named Jay who has seen quite a bit of the West Coast and is back in Portland to take steps to climb out of life on the street. He shared with me his vision. It's simple and profound at the same time. Here it is:

1) Jobs for everyone in Portland who can work.
2) Housing for everyone in Portland so they can get off the streets if they want to.

Is that so hard? Sounds like the kingdom of God to me. What if we all shared that vision? And lived it?

Every city in the country has a desire to "end homelessness." That often translates into a program to end homeless people. What if we scrapped plans to end homeless people and adopted Jay's vision instead? One month of spending in Iraq would do this for every city in the country.


A blessed night, almost. Some of our regular worshipers were not there. Some have been worn down by the grind of winter and the stresses of life and seriously stumbled on their quest to stay upright. And some have just had another of those cycles of mental health that does to the mind what the flu does to the body. It's heartbreaking when they aren't doing well, ecstatic when they are.

And one little group of regulars could not be with us and have been out for several weeks now. In addition to everything else confronting them in their battles to stay even remotely clean and sober, body lice have attacked them with demonic vengeance. How do you live with that? How do you sleep with that? How do you get help for that? How do you trash all your stuff--even the infected squat where you have been sleeping--and start over again? How do you fight off the hammering of the addiction that demands to be fed when all your sources of meeting that demand are now off limits? When the only thing you can sell is unmarketable? How do you live one more day?

How do you do that and not simply jump off the Burnside Bridge?

Life can age a person ten years in two weeks' time.

I admire these profiles in courage.

We prayed for them last night. We'll pray for them fervently and richly. And we'll pray for Jay's vision. The Christ still walks the streets sowing seeds of the Kingdom.

Won't you do the same?


Pastor Roger

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