Just A Nobody

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This blog was started to share the journey of what God has called me to do, serve our friends whithout homes. A long the way it has also become part of my journey as well.

Friday, April 25, 2008

How God talks thru Trees

I want to share this story with you. First though you need to understand, my relationship with the Lord is a simple one. When the two of us talk its not great bolts of lightning and no dramatics. He has a way of speaking to me in unusual ways, using small ordinary things to speak or show me things.

Early one morning, while at Pam’s place, I walked outside and down her walkway. I was reflecting on my time in Portland and what I had started here in Boise, in the park. I was thinking of all those I had met without homes and those who are on the streets. As I was thinking I noticed her pine trees and there are a lot of pine trees in her yard. But there are two trees, one on each side of the walkway leading up to her house that caught my attention.

They both were very similar, same type of trees, both tall and strong. Each very much a like, but yet very different in many ways. One had grown tall, straight, strong and very few bumps on its trunk. The other was tall and strong as well, but its trunk has large protruding bumps and knots. Its branches were not protruding straight out, reaching for the sun, like the other tree. This tree’s branches were twisted and looked as if it had a difficult time during its growth process, constantly fighting to reach for the sun, struggling to reach out for that life source. As I looked up at this tree, I wondered did it hurt, was it painful, and why did this one have to struggle so much in life? Through its entire struggle it survived and held on. Do people see the beauty in this tree? Do they see what it has to offer, protection from the storm and shade from the heat and its uniqueness in itself? No, I thought most people would deem this tree not worthy to grow among the rest of the tall straight trees. Some would even remove it, justifying that it does not fit in with the rest and we can’t have it here.

As I stood there I heard God ask “Which one do you find beauty in and are more attracted to?”

“Well both are beautiful.” I thought.

“But which one are you more attracted to?” He asked.

“The one with all its flaws and imperfections, the one most would not give a second look. It has character and beauty.” I said.

He said, “Continue to walk in the forest of those who have imperfections. Always finding beauty in those that the world would look at as having no worth, because even these are of my creation.”

I will continue to walk and be friends to those people who the world has referred to as having no worth. I will continue to love on my friends whose home is the street. Most of all I will let them know that no matter what situation, struggle or imperfections they may have, they are LOVED and will be accepted right were they are. My challenge to you is to find and love on the forest of imperfection. You will be amazed at what beauty you will find.

So, there is my story of the two trees. As weird as it may seem to the rest of you, I felt like I needed to share it. Oh, Pam don’t ever get rid of the tree, it’s beautiful. You can also tell your neighbors that were starring at me from across the street, watching as if I was some lunatic, I was just having a God moment and thanks for not call the cops to come lock me up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Shack

As I was leaving Portland, Pam gave me a copy of the book “The Shack.” I finally picked it up last night and after struggling thru the first few chapters, could not put the book down, finishing the entire book last night. Wow, was the only word that came to mind when I closed the book.

This book brought a lot of emotions to the surface for me. After the death of my oldest son, I had so many questions and was not getting any answers from God. In reading this book, I found the character Mack asking some of the same questions I have always had and going thru some of same emotions I encountered and still do. I am not saying all my questions were answered thru this book, but I walk away with a better understanding and a new out look into who God is and hopefully a new and better relationship with him. I think I will keep this book close by to revisit again. Thanks Pam!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beautiful People

A child of freedom
A child of promise
A child of GOD

I saw this CD in the store the other day. I returned to the store today and instantly went back to the CD. I didn't go into the store to buy the CD, but once again was drawn to it. I bought it and it does have some good music on it, some songs I admit brought tears to my eyes and really spoke to me. I realized though, it was not the music that was drawing me to it, it was the picture on the front and the title of the CD "Beautiful People." I think the title speaks for itself. My question to you is, what do you see when you look at the picture?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Friday in Portland

My last three days in Portland went by like a whirlwind. Friday night, Pam, her Husband and I went to Vancouver. We were going to Vivian's going away party, at Tony's house. Here I would meet the infamous Donna and Vivian, that Pam talks about often. The house was nestled on what seemed to be the outskirts of Vancouver and was full of beautiful people and wonderful food. Pam took me outside, where I met Tony and he was making his famous noodles. Now, I have read a few blogs about Tony's noodles and I thought I have to get me some of those. They are just as awesome as everyone says they are and Tony, I wish I had the opportunity to sit and talk to him more. What an interesting man.

That night I met Pam’s friends and instantly felt welcomed and at home. Donna and Vivian, awesome women, who after a short time, made me feel like I had known them for years. Pam they wanted the low down on you, but all your secrets are safe with me…..Ha Ha. Vern, you cracked me up. Dorie, well what can I say about him. I met Dorie and we talked about many things, but what really drew me to him was this very soft-spoken man that had the most incredible sweet spirit about him. He played his guitar and sung a few songs, some he said he wrote. There was so much compassion in his songs. There is something about his young man that will stay with me for a long time. Sitting there around the bonfire talking and listen to the music, what a beautiful night.

The night went way to fast. Donna and Vivian you will have to come this way someday and you can bring Pam too. Vivian, if you ever want to give up that jacket, let me know and I wish you the best in your new adventure. I want to thank everyone for letting me be a part of his or her world that night. It is something I will treasure forever. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like I belonged and it was nice to be around people who understand your heart and your desires. I walked away feeling like I had just gone home and now had to leave my family. I miss you all and send my love.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

Recent trip to Portland

Thursday-Day One

Last night I was sitting here thinking, I can’t believe that a week ago Thursday, I was landing in Portland. Three and a half days I would spend there. Visiting an old friend, whom I have not seen in eighteen years, in a town that I have never been too. Nor did I realize the wonderful people I would soon meet.

My first day in Portland was unbelievable. Arrived late afternoon, grabbed my bag and stood on the curb waiting for my dear friend to pick me up. I was nervous but excited to see her. We had exchanged emails and phone calls over the years, but now face-to-face, what would it be like? I saw her green van approach and my heart started to race. Part of me wanted to run the other direction, would we still hit it off after all these years? A friendship I valued so very much and I didn’t want to blow it now. She greeted me with a big hug and I realized in that moment how much I really did miss this old friend and how much she had been a blessing in my life. I couldn’t wait to spend time with her and catch up. Made it to her house and for the first time met her absolutely awesome family. Then it was out the door again.

I was dropped off at Ken’s house to join him and a few of the people from his HOME PDX group in downtown Portland. I was thinking on the ride to downtown, I just flew in a few hours ago, met up with someone I have not seen in eighteen years, in a town I have never been to, jumped in a car with three people (one I have only met briefly) and we are going to go hang out on the streets in Portland with those who live on the streets. Hell, made perfect sense to me. Then again I do live in my own little world, I have been told.

We arrived at the square and I was in awe as to the number of people who were there, those who have no homes. I have to admit; I was a little out of my comfort zone. I do not like to intrude on what other people have established and I had never been with this group and did not want seem like I was butting in. I am also a doer not a talker; I am the one who will always sit in the back, hoping no one will notice me. For me talking to people, it takes me out of my comfort zone and that first step is always hard for me. I stood around making small talk to some of the people down there, and then I saw a group of young kids across the street. They go over to smoke, can’t smoke in the square. O.K time to step out of comfort zone.

I walked across the street and joined this group of kids for a smoke. Their curiosity prompted many questions. Who are you, why are you here, small talk stuff. This opened a door for me to find out more about them and my heart broke. My first encounter was with a 22 year old, who was from Boise. He had been on the streets of Portland for two years. He had traveled around, but ended up there. He went on to share about his mom who still lives in Boise and the abuse and neglect he encountered at home and how he was thrown out on to the streets at a young age. We talked for a long time and he shared his heart with me. Then his eyes began to well up, he asked me for a hug and whispered in my ear “I miss my mom, I have to go now” and he walked away. My heart broke for this young man. I watched the two girls playing with food coloring. One was spraying the other with the stuff. My first thought, are you flipping nuts? It will take a week to get that off and she was covered from head to toe with it. She said she was under age and had been in Portland for a few months. I thought about these two for a few days. Yes, they are street wise, but they are still kids. Kids trying to have a little fun, even if it's spraying each other with food coloring. For a brief moment they were just kids laughing and having fun. There are so many more I met that night, the young man who kept circling and getting closer wanting so badly to be noticed and had the most beautiful smile when we finally had a chance to talk. The young man who took me to get another pack of smokes and introduced me to his friends along the way, almost all of them wanting a hug. They wanted so badly to be noticed and touched, wanting that human connection. To the writer I met that night. I will treasure your book always. He maybe living on the streets, but he expressed such compassion for wanting to write and express his thoughts. To my excitement, I would meet him again on Sunday. Will tell you more about Sunday later.

We jumped back into the car and headed back to Ken’s house. As I waited for my friend to pick me up, I got a chance to meet Ken’s wife. What a beautiful lady not just outside, but her heart as well. Wish I had the chance to get to know her better. It was hard to sit there and make small talk while thoughts of what just happened were fresh in my mind. The hardest part for me is leaving and walking away and this was extra hard, because in a few days I will be flying home and probably would not see these beautiful kids again. I held back my tears, but I can still feel that part of my heart that broke that night. Thank you Ken for allowing me to join you that night, it is a night that will not be forgotten.

Well, first few hours in Portland went way to fast. Would have liked to have spent more time downtown, but there were three more days I would spend here, catching up and meeting new and wonderful people. Three more exciting days left. Will fill you in on those days soon.

“It is one thing to discuss a issue with someone-It’s another thing to truly listen to his voice.”
-from the book Jesus Save Us from Your Followers

Thursday, April 3, 2008

So I am a little out of touch with the rest of the world (no wise ass jokes about being over the hill)......this whole blogging things is new to me......bare with me while I work on it, I really don't know what the hell I am doing.