Just A Nobody

My photo
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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Photo by-Ken Winkleman

Ken was downtown and ran into one of our friends from the park. He took this picture of him. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it with you. Who's face do you see?

We are all created in His image!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009


News clip of memorial above(the news reports eight lost, we read of fourteen names of lost loved ones)

Today, December 21 is the represents the first day of winter. It is also the day that we all come together at the Corpus Christi shelter to remember our friends outside that have passed during the year.

As I arrived I was amazed at the amount of people who showed up, not just those on the streets but also those from the community, all wanting to show in someway that these wonderful people were not forgotten and loved.

It was a beautiful memorial. An Indian drum circle played Native American songs on the drums. People from different religious backgrounds spoke and read poetry. Christian, Jewish and Buddhist prayers were spoken, each reminding of the peace, hope, love and acceptance we need in our lives. The one thing that stood out in my mind was some of the words that Henry, the director of Corpus said, “We all leave footprints on the hearts of the lives we come in contact with and those footprints are carried on to the next person.”

As I stood among the hundred or so people, you could see the hurt and fear in their eyes. The hurt over lost friends and the fear that it could be them. As I stood there one of the young men walked up next to me and stood real close. Then at one point I thought someone had bumped into him and knocked him into me. As I caught my footing I notice that no one had bumped him, but instead he was trying to lean on me. He was trying to get as close as he could. I looked him in the eyes and I could see his hurt and pain. No words were spoken, I knew what he was after, I held out my arms and he collapsed in my arms sobbing and sobbing. We both stood crying as they read off the fourteen names of those we lost this year.

Another came up and asked if I would remember her if she were gone. One asked if I would hold is hand. One man I did not know kept circling around and then just walked up and hugged me and said, “I love you!” One after another came just wanting to be touched and held for a moment. Each just wanting to know that they to are not forgotten and loved. I pray that the footprint I leave on the lives of my friends is that they are loved, they are someone special and they will always be remembered! I know each and every one of them has left their footprint on my life. For those fourteen we lost this year, I pray that they also knew how deeply loved they were.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


When you first glanced at me, did you see that I am a Charlie Brown Tree? But, if you look closer there is more to me to see.

At one time I had roots and a foundation. I lived among the forest of beautiful trees, tall and proud. Unforeseen circumstances and an unstable foundation brought me crumbling down. Now my foundation is a bit wobbly and it’s held together with nails and scraps of what was once me.

I am not much to look at; just a small branch is all that is left. Even though I once lived among the large forest, along the way I became broken, discarded and now just a piece of my former self.

Now they hide me in the back lot, to ashamed for me to be seen. The ones who stand tall and beautiful are the ones people want to see. So, here I sit alone, unseen, unwanted and unloved. Wishing someone could see me for what I could be.

Look closer at me; do you see it? I struggle to hold onto one single bulb, it still glimmers and shines from time to time. It holds my hopes and dreams. It is my gem for the world to see, if they would only look.

If you wrap a blanket around my foundation, I will stand a little taller. If I were tended to patiently, fed, watered and given love, I would begin to grow strong again. It wouldn’t take much.

In time I may begin to look much like my former self, but I would be different in many ways. This time because tended to with love, my foundation will be stronger and my roots will grow deeper. I would stand taller and prouder than all the other trees, because you saw the hidden beauty in me.

Our friends in the park are much like this tree. Broken, discarded, no longer have a firm foundation to stand on and are just a shell of their former selves. You have looked past the forest of people and saw the discarded, broken and hidden. Thank you for wrapping your arms around them and helping them stand a little stronger. Thank you for caring for them, so they have a chance to grow new roots. Thank you for seeing that they have hopes and dreams and most of all Thank you for Loving them. I see it in their smiles and in their eyes, they come because they know that to you, they are someone special, they are truly loved and you see their hidden beauty! You see more than just a Charlie Brown Tree! Love you very much!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Three Guys and Jesus--by Ken Loyd

One of Ken's http://kenloyd.net/ recent posts that I wanted to share:

Almost nobody in Portland has gear for seventeen degrees because it never gets that cold here…except yesterday…and this week…maybe next.

So I was out with a couple of huge, IKEA bags jammed full of stuff. Socks, tarps, two sleeping bags, hoodies, hats, gloves and, best of all, hand warmers. At one point I ran across three guys huddled together in a small alcove, trying to escape the wind.

“You guys cold?” The cosmic absurdity of that query hit me just as the words left my mouth. Too late to retrieve them, though. Then, “Want some handwarmers?”

Guy #1 took the four pair I handed him and, as I fumbled for more, gave one each to his buddies. Now he had two and the others had one each. #1 fiddled with the extra handwarmer, twirling it in his fingers uncomfortably. An imbalance. What to do? I gave four each to his friends and without a word they each handed one back to their generous friend. Balance achieved!

I think there is a tincture of Jesus in most, maybe all, people. It shows itself in the form of love, sharing, taking in then giving away, even to our own hurt. Would these guys name the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, World Without End, Amen? I don’t know, I didn’t ask, but I observed His life coursing through their veins in that moment.

It happens often in downtown Portland, Oregon among the “least” of these.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I awoke this morning to the morning news. The head of one of the biggest shelters here in town was on the news stating that with the bitter cold weather no one is turned away. Then went on to state that they opened addition bedding for women and children and there is still plenty of room there. The one problem with that is, most people on the streets are men. Yes, no child should have to endure this weather or spend the night on the streets, but if there are empty beds why do we have people sleeping outside? Oh Yeah, they said no one was turned away. What we want people to hear and what is the truth is not always the same.

With temperatures dropping down to minus five last night, I was thinking that was great, those who normally do not have a place to stay found shelter from the cold. I still wanted to check on the guys and headed to the underpass. There were the guys, bundled under many blankets, but thank God alive.

I started asking around about how everyone is doing and what can I do to help them staying warm. I said, “So you were able to get into the shelter last night?” “No”, was the reply. One was turned away stating that the shelter said they were full. When the cop found him early that morning, he stated his reason for camping out. The cop drug him to the shelter and when asked the shelter stated that no one was turned away….who do you think the cop believed? Trespassing ticket was issued. No money for the ticket and now he will have to do time for something someone else lied about. Another one of my guys has a prior conviction, which I will not get into here. He has done his time; he doesn’t drink, is always trying to help others and is an all around nice guy. Because of his conviction he was told he couldn’t stay there.

These are just two and there are many other stories. It was minus five last night and if I would have left my dog outside and someone found out, I would be in trouble for animal cruelty. I want to know why in the hell an animal has more rights and is treated better than our fellow human beings? Yeah I am mad, mad that a shelter will say anything to make themselves look good to the public, so donations keep coming in and in fact they are turning people away. I want to know why the same place will continue to hold judgment over a man, never giving him a second chance? Every year we lose people to the elements and it is always the same on the news “just a homeless guy who lost his life to the cold.” Well it wasn’t some homeless guy, this is someone I cared about, someone I loved, and he was a friend and part of my extended family. I am so tired of see my friends discarded like a piece of trash on the side of the road and I don’t know how to change it.

Yeah I am on a rant, I am venting…call it what you want, but no matter what you call it…IT’S STILL NOT RIGHT for people to be treated like this and we will have to answer for our actions in the end!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Saturday in the park we were having a great time visiting with our friends. I was engaging with a group of young men, joking around having a good time, and then I screwed up. Earlier one of the older gentlemen had given me a pack of cigs that I put in my pocket. From time to time our friends will give me something and no matter what it is I never refuse, in their way they feel like they are giving back and if I say no, they feel like their gift is not good enough. Anyway, I was standing there talking to this group of young men. When one of them wanted a cigarette, remembering the pack in my pocket, I meant to ask “Do any of you Guys want one of these?” what came out of my mouth was “Do any of you People want one of these.”

Now you have to understand that this group of guys have been a group that were always coming down to eat, but would grab a plate and then high tail it back to the far picnic bench to continue drinking and doing their drugs, never wanting anymore from us than a plate of food. About a month ago this all changed. They started coming over, getting their food then hanging out and talking. Then came the “can I have a hug before I leave.” Now when they show up, they bee line it strait over and let you know they are there and always want you to hug and love on them……you almost can’t get rid of them now…LOL.

Well after my screwed up comment, one of them jokingly asked what I meant by “You People, I thought we were all the same down here?” I tried to explain that it was not my intention to say that and I would never think of them as “You people.” I apologized and asked if they would forgive me. They said they knew what I meant and that I considered them like family, that they were just giving me a hard time.

It went deeper for me though. It still bothers me that I could have with one slip of the tongue and with one word destroyed the relationship that has been built with these young men. In no way do I ever want to hurt them or make them feel like they are different. With one word you can build up or you can destroy and my heartaches at the thought that I could have in spit second inflicted more pain into lives that were already hurting. I love my friends with a passion I cannot explain and I pray that I never have one of those “I screwed up moments again!”

Friday, November 20, 2009


My drawing for Ben.
He is removing all the old....so more of His heart will shine thru!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

EYES---by Ken Loyd

Why do some “normals” (people with jobs who live indoors) get acceptance more quickly downtown among our friends than others?

One possible reason can be found in our eyes. Window of the soul and all that.

Our friends search our eyes to see if we are safe. They must. Their survival depends on it.

Check this out. They can see in, but, better than that, we can consciously project outward from real places in our souls. We can project love, acceptance, delight, and the desire to know and connect right onto the screens of their hearts. Child-like wonder doesn’t hurt at all, either.

Cool, huh?

PS Jim Henderson would call this ” being intentional.”

Monday, November 9, 2009


The day you entered my life, I was filled with excitement, yet fear all at the same time.

Filled with joy over this new guy in my life, but fear of not being good enough for him.

Could I be there for him in all his needs?
Could I help make all his dreams come true?
Could I love him with everything I had?

Then you left. No notice, no warning, in a blink of an eye you were no longer here. My world came to a crashing halt and shattered before my eyes. A part of my heart where I held you so close, broke and now is left with emptiness, pain and grief.

I sit here ten years later and think if I could just have one more moment with you.

I would give my legs to have one more moment to walk with you!

I would give up speaking if I could just for one moment tell you how much I love you!

I would give up my eyes to see your face for just one moment!

I would give up my arms to hold you for just one moment!

I would give up my life and all I have to spend just one more moment with you and have you say the one word I long to hear again…….”MOM!”

I love you my dear son!

Feb. 18, 1982-Nov. 10, 1999

Don’t ever forget to tell those you love, how much you really do LOVE THEM!

Homeless Sue

Recent article from the Idaho Statesman:

Homeless Boiseans sue over public camping ban

The suit says enforcing the rule amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in a city where shelters are overflowing.

BY REBECCA BOONE - The Associated Press
Published: 11/09/09

The lawsuit, filed last month in federal court by seven residents, echoes similar cases popping up around the nation, all targeting rules that advocates say amount to the criminalization of homelessness.

On any given night, the suit contends, between 2,000 and 4,500 people are homeless in Idaho's capital city, and only about 700 of them will be able to get a bed or a mat on the floor in one of the area's shelters. The others have no choice but to violate city ordinances against camping or sleeping in public, the filing states.

"Boise police officers routinely issue camping citations to homeless residents for sleeping, sitting, or talking with friends in public places - activities non-homeless residents have the freedom to engage in without fear of police interference," the group writes in the lawsuit, filed in the names of Janet F. Bell, Brian S. Carson, Craig Fox, Robert Martin, Lawrence Lee Smith, Robert Anderson and Pamela S. Hawkins.

Boise City Attorney Scott Muir said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.

But Tulin Ozdegre, an attorney with the National Center on Homelessness and Poverty who is representing the Boise homeless residents in the lawsuit, said the poor economy and high foreclosure rate mean the ranks of the homeless will continue to grow.

"Many communities around the country are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of homeless people, and most cities don't have the resources to meet the need," she said. "Currently we're involved in a couple other lawsuits as well. In St. Petersburg, Fla., we're challenging a number of laws and practices there targeting homeless people. And we have another lawsuit in the city of Dallas with a different twist, over a law that restricts groups from sharing food with homeless people in public spaces."

Cities nationwide are dealing with similar issues. Honolulu began enforcing an overnight camping ban at a local park a year ago, but in October the City Council shelved a measure that would have made it illegal to sleep on the sidewalk after some members questioned how it would affect the homeless.

Homeless advocates sued the city of Portland last year over an anti-camping ordinance, a case that is now in settlement negotiations. In October, the California city of Laguna Beach created a sleeping area for the homeless in response to a lawsuit that claimed the city was harassing disabled homeless residents. The ACLU sued Santa Barbara, Calif., in March, contending that an ordinance banning nighttime sleeping on public property unfairly criminalized the homeless.

On Tuesday, Boise City Council members are expected to hear on third reading a measure that would clarify the word "camping" to mean the use of public property as a sojourn or a place of residence anytime between sunset and sunrise. The change also states that storing personal belongings, cooking or making a fire in an unauthorized area also indicates that someone is camping.

The plaintiffs in the case don't have addresses or phone numbers and couldn't be immediately reached. But they detailed their circumstances in the lawsuit.

Martin, who is mentally ill, has a physical disability and has been homeless on and off for 11 years - since he was 18 - has been cited twice this year for sleeping near local shelters, according to the lawsuit. Martin contends he can't walk far because of his disability, which means he can't hike out of town to sleep and then back in to get to a soup kitchen where he can shower, clean his clothes and eat. Smith lived in his camper van until it was stolen, and now often sleeps along the Boise River, according to the lawsuit. After getting two camping citations in 2007, Smith says he served 100 days in jail. He also lost his tent, stove and fishing equipment after the arrest, he said, making it harder to survive without shelter.

The homeless residents are asking the court to order the city to expunge their records of any homeless person wrongly ticketed, to pay damages and to declare that the city's actions violated constitutional rights of homeless residents.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finding God Again!

I wrote a blog a long time ago called “Finding God in the small things” or something to that sort. I told about how when I started going to the park that the Lord would show me or reveal himself to me in the small things. He would direct my attention to someone and show me how He sees them. Someone who you just could not reach, you would pray for time and time again and one day He would breakdown the walls of their heart and they would just open up. He showed me the special love He has for each and every one of his children and most of all the deep unconditional love He has. There are thousands of things I learned about the heart and love of the Father there in the park.

Today after the park, one of the guys asked if I would give him a ride back to the halfway house where he was staying. Hippie dude (my nickname for him) has been one of those that I have known since the first time going to the park. The first six months of knowing him, well I can’t say I knew him; he actually wouldn’t give me the time of day to tell you the truth. Those first few months I would respect his boundaries, offer him something to eat and let God deal with the rest. One day as I was leaving I heard someone yell “Hey sister”, I turned to see who had yelled and it was Hippie dude. I thought okay here we go. I have been yelled at, cussed out and many other things those first months in the park and here I thought I was going to get it again. The Lord taught me well in this area. My first instinct when this happened would be to fight back. Thank you Lord for speaking to me before I would open my mouth. He would very gently speak to my heart and would say, “They have been hurt and are still hurting. They don’t want to be hurt anymore, so they try and push you away. If they let you in, they are afraid you will hurt them more. So, just love them period.” So like I said I was ready for what every Hippie dude was going to dish out and I would react in way I always did, stand there smile, let them vent on me and as I would leave I would just say “I still love you.” The look on their face was always priceless. That day though Hippie dud just very calmly looked at me and said “I love you.” God was opening up a heart. Things happen slowly in the park and little things like that may not seem like much to some, but to me that is a beautiful move of God.

So we flash forward a year and a half and people are comfortable with us now. They open up more freely and they let the walls down much quicker. They feel safe and they feel loved. Today Hippie dude loaded up his bike and we headed down the street to his place. He turned to me and said “Hey sister, are you like religious?” I told him that I think that being religious and having faith are to different things. That anyone can be religious, but I had a deep faith. I told him I was a Christian and that my faith and love for Christ was very special to me. “Oh” was the response I got from him. Then he turns again and says “you guys are different and not now, but can we talk about it one day?” “Anytime you want to my friend, anytime” was my response. God was working all this time in my friend’s heart and I missed it. We had gone from complete rejection to trust, to acceptance, “I love you” and friendship, but God didn’t stop there.

I started looking for God in the big things, not seeing or hearing Him as often, then I found Him again still working on the small things, where He does His biggest work…in the Heart! May I continue to see the transformation that the love of God can do in someone’s heart and life, no matter how long it takes. May I never stop seeing or hearing Him in all the small things. It’s the small things that I long for! It’s the matters of the heart that I want to stay focused on, everything else God will take care of!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spiritual Transformation Journey Begins with .....

Story worth reading:

Spiritual Transformation Journey Begins with Feeding the Homeless

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tokenism…a few practical suggestions

A recent post by Ken that I thought was worth reposting. You can find Ken at:http://kenloyd.net/

Tokenism…a few practical suggestions
We’re good people. We do actually care.

If there was a Satan, this is what I think he’d do to good, caring people: he would blind us to the very real horrors going on all around us. How? He’d encourage us to make a token gesture, let the pee sit in the bowl, do something nice at Christmas for the “poor”, be slightly less oppressive to women than the next person, Facebook our outrage at child prostitution. Something like that. He’d then give us a squirt of endorphins to warm us all over and whisper quietly in our ear, “Good job!, Sally (Bill, Fred, Sharon).”

There actually is a Satan, I believe, and that’s exactly what he does to good, caring people. Especially good, caring American people. Most especially good, caring Christian American people. How else can we explain little or no visible action coming from our nation and churches in an age when the enormity of human suffering is splattered all over the news on a daily basis?

Here are some mental errors most of us, I think, make in the thought-to-emotion-to-action transition:

American? We have been taught to believe that those who have less, are less. In the church world, prosperity equals blessing for a good life lived.
Young American? In your, “I’m-here-what’s-going-on-there?-texting-four-people-while-having-coffee-with-a-fifth-Google-everything-wired-to-the-hilt world, it’s easy to care about everything so much that actually doing anything gets lost in the melee.
Emergent Christian? Lots of palaver, not much do. Trap.
Theological bent? See above.
We easily confuse reading and knowing with doing. They are not remotely the same. To bend James’ words a bit, “Reading without doing is dead.” (sorry, Jimmie)
Have enough money? Live indoors? Have a Job? Vehicle? Stuff? It’s called insulation! We (especially Christians) need to get out more. Uninsulated.
We can easily let the talking heads (teachers, professors, preachers, newspeople, etc.) think and do on our behalf.
Low self esteem a la: “I’m too small (shy, uneducated, old, young, unhip, your limit here _________) to make a difference.”
With so many kinds of injustice in the world, which one to choose?
Catch the drift?
Good, caring people paralyzed by our own brains.

Some suggestions to help us get off the dime (to coin an old phrase):

Read/study/ask questions of actual doers. Learn about injustice of all kinds.
Set a time limit for your study phase. Remember: Reading is not doing. Knowing is not doing. Only doing is doing.
Ask, “What’s my heart (God?) telling me?” What moved you most? What excited most you? What grieved you most?
Get involved with that. If something moves you to action, you may well stick. If you’re just going along with someone else, it’s difficult to pay attention for long.
What are you good at? Do that for a caring/justice cause.
What do you enjoy doing? Do that for a caring/justice cause.
Consider that small might just be the new big. (less insulation)
Consider that local might just be the new mission field. (less insulation)
Get in touch with your own brokenness. It will connect you with the rest of humanity. (less insulation)
You want endorphins? Then get started!


Saturday, October 3, 2009


During our lifetime we have moments where we think, if I could just do this one big thing or if I had lots of money I could do and help a lot of people. It’s in between those moments that we sometimes forget about the little things that make the most impact in the lives of others. In the moments where there are no others around, no fan fair, no big production, just a small act of kindness that can make a change in someone's life.

Below you will find a blog written by a wonderful person I met online. She writes about the kindness of strangers and the impact it had on her beautiful son. You can find more of her blogs at: http://brokenheartedmom.blogspot.com/


Thank You

Some believe there are angels among us. I never really gave it any thought B.H. (before heroin). But my son is alive today through the immeasurable kindness of strangers. The people who gave him a dollar, a sandwich, a smile, or a hand up are many. I will never be able to express my gratitude to the good people along the way to rock bottom who tried to break the fall. I'm especially grateful to the ones who did not judge.

My son has told me of kind strangers who saw a terribly troubled soul and reached out. I would like to acknowledge a few who easily could have averted their eyes, and walked on.

Thank you stranger in Michigan, for calling that ambulance.

Thank you Arizona State Trooper who bought my son a Big Mac, got my phone number from him, drove him to a treatment facility, and then called me to tell me where my boy was.

Thank you lovely woman in Riverside, California who let a dirty, stoned boy use her cell phone to call home, and then gave him $5.

Thanks to the man in Utah who bought himself a coffee and donut, saw my son, and without a word handed it to him.

And to the special stranger in downtown Detroit: You saw my son walking down the cold, winter street. It was 16 degrees, -3 windchill; he had no hat, gloves, decent shoes, nothing but cotton pants and a sweatshirt. You pulled your car along side him, and got out. Andrew was confused, and wary, expecting you to taunt or hurt him. You took off your coat, held it out to him. "You need this more than I do, brother," you said. Then you got in your car and drove away.

Be you angels or mortals..you have taught me I must pass it on.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The needs on the streets are growing and each week that is becoming more apparent. For the past few months, there are more and more new faces showing up at the park. People who are new to the streets as well as what is considered the new homeless, those who have homes but have to make a choice of weather to pay rent or buy food. So, they come down and share our table with us. We share the table with all and turn no one away. The winter months are coming quickly and some of the shelters are all ready full. This is alarming. The shelters usually never fill up until the bitter cold sets in and those who normally camp out, come in to get out of the cold. With the shelters filling up, there will be more out on the streets exposed to the cold. Last year it was reported that eight lost their lives to the elements. During those months there is always an increase in the number of people at the park looking for a warm meal. We are already preparing food for 200 each week and I ask that you pray that we will be able to continue to serve our friends when that increase comes.

I want to thank all of you that continue to come down and serve our friends in the park; they are touched by your generosity and love. For those who cannot make it to the park, we thank you for your support and prayers; you are making a difference in their lives. We have had a few new people coming to help, Bob, Joni, Linda, her son and Ryan have joined us as well. They have been welcomed into what our park friends call the family. Our park friends don’t consider us a feed, but instead a weekly family picnic. What an honor!

They have made this weekly gathering so much theirs that on the weekends that Deb is not cooking, I give over my kitchen to a few that insist on cooking, their way of giving back to us. We also had a street couple that so much wanted to bless us they bought food for this past weekend. Our friends don’t have much but they are generous with what they do have.

I am amazed at what the Lord is doing. Next month will be two years that I have been going to the park. What started as a call from God to go hand out sandwiches to a few people in need, He has blessed and has become a large gathering of our friends without homes. The Lord has brought some amazing, wonderful, giving people along on this journey and each and every one of you has been an answer to prayer and a blessing beyond belief. You will never know how grateful our homeless community, as well as myself are to you.

Instead of going to the park at four, we have changed the time to four thirty. This change is to help us better serve our friends.

Our friends continuously ask me to thank you for see them for the wonderful people they are and loving them period.


*Jim (out guitar guy) received housing a little over a month a go.

*Nate and Hillary on Sept. 11 gave birth to their son Timothy 7 pounds 9 ounces. On the same day they received housing and have since moved into their own place. Mom and baby are doing fine and Nate couldn’t be a prouder papa.


*Walls that our friends have built up are coming down. Their hearts are beginning to open and the Lord is preparing those hearts. Pray for their salvation and the opportunity for us to speak into their lives.

*Help us pray for finances to continue feeding and to help obtain a building we can use for church services as well as be used to further help our friends and the rest of the community.

*Please pray against the spirit of alcoholism. The Lord has showing me lately the grip this addiction has on the people and I ask you that you pray that those addictions will be broken.

*Pray for those who have made it off the streets. Transitioning into normal society can be hard.

*A few of our friends had their things taken and are in need of some clothing, below are a list of things they are in need of. If you can help in anyway, please let me know and thank you.

Large backpack—dark colored
Men’s tennis shoes size 10 and size 11
Women’s tennis shoes size 6 ½
Women’s pants size 9/10
Women’s underwear size 6
Women’s shirt’s size medium

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When all is gone

Our passion in life, our desire does it emerge out of the flames of our pain? And when the flames become all consuming, does our passion turn to ash, do the windstorms of life scatter them never to return? When the flames burn out and all is left is smoldering numbness....where do you go from there? When do you find the joy that fuels the flames?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


There are three gentlemen who show up in the park on Saturday’s. I have known them now going on two years; they have been there since the start of me going to the park. A few months ago they started referring to me as “MA” and I in turn refer to them as the “The good son”, “The quiet son” and “The brat”. Each one of them a bit older than me, but they still call me Ma.

Recently someone in the park mentioned to them that they should have more respect and should not refer to me as Ma. I explained that I do not take offense to them calling me that and it was a joke between us. The more I thought about it, that simple word “MA” has become much more.

When I hear them call me that I think of Ma Kettle from the old TV show. A woman standing on her front porch, hair a mess, beat up clothes with a corncob pipe hanging from her mouth. Bare footed at times, laughing yet feisty, but always ready to welcome in friends and the passer bye. So, does this offend me? NO.

Why? Because even though the word Ma may not bring thoughts of a woman with great dignity or authority, it has attached to it words that bring much more meaning, friendliness and the sense of comfortableness. It tells me that we are growing closer in our relationships with our friends, they are becoming more and more comfortable with us; they look at us as friends and family. They have even said we are having a family picnic each week, not a feed. So, in the end do I mind being called Ma? No, I find myself humbled and honored to be given the title of “MA”.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TJ-- a life taken to soon 7-25-2009

I have been trying to write this blog for a few days now, but each time I start the tears come, I shut down the computer and think of a life taken way to soon.

TJ was in his twenties and was father to a four-year-old little boy, CJ. His friends say that he was headed back to Seattle after getting his son in Ohio. Passing through he told people, but ended up staying much longer. Why did he stay? No one knows, but I hope it is because he found a family and community that loved him and took him in as one of their own. When I listen to people talk about him he is described as, true friend, the best father who loved his son very much, someone they loved and loved people back.

From what I understand, TJ was out with his friends earlier Saturday. They had a beer or two and during this time, methadone was put into the beer. Weather intentional or not no one knows at this time. He came back to the shelter, laid down in the back parking lot against the wall and even though many checked on him from time to time, he slipped away from a drug overdose.

No matter what happened we have to remember, He was a friend, someone’s son, grandson, a father, a friend and a child of God, all who loved him very much!

He was family and the lose hit hard with those on the streets. I see the hurt and sadness in their eyes, so you hold them a little tighter and reassure them they are loved, cared about and will never be forgotten.

There will be a memorial service for him at the Corpus day shelter on Friday at 11:30, in the back. We will gather as friends and family and say goodbye to this life gone to soon. We will morn and overtime the pain that is felt by this void in our hearts will ease, but that void will always remind us of the precious gift we received by having him in our lives, even if it was for a brief time. TJ you were loved by so many and I pray that you felt that love while you were still with us.

The street community set up a memorial wall at the spot TJ passed away, many heart felt and letters of love cover the wall.

Monday, July 27, 2009


He is truly alone in this life.

His wish is for you is to see him and look him in the eyes.

As they drive by him, he is given a label....Bum, Drunk, Crack Head, Wino.
They have all ready judged him.

He asks nothing from you.

But Bum, as he is called, he only wants to give you something and
he longs and desires to give you the only thing he truly owns,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MY STORY--by Tonya Haught

When I write my blog, you get my view and perspective on what goes on down at the park. Tonya emailed her story this morning and I wanted to share it with you, a look at the park through another pair of eyes and another heart. Tonya, Ashley and all the others are a blessing to have there. May you enjoy and be encouraged by her story.....It brought tears to my eyes! Be Blessed my friends!

My Story . . .

All of us have a story. This part of the story I call my life began in January 2009 when we met through a mutual friend a gal named Denie. She had been going down to the park to feed her friends without homes for over a year. My daughter, my husband, myself and 2 of our dearest friends with their daughter, began to visit and meet Denie at the park. What a beautiful interchange we saw witnessed with these people and Denie. They were kind, considerate, and genuinely respected Denie and the simple, nourishing food she brought them each week. But there was so very much more to see. It is not the food that these lovely people show up for each week. It is the love and acceptance that they have received from Denie as she pours her heart and soul into this ministry that she has been called to. For me personally, it took a few months of feeling very inadequate and humbled by what I saw. We began to bake goodies, and help serve hot meals to these incredible people, and bit by bit, they too began to open themselves to us. Now I stand in line with my daughter beside me, and watch their eyes shine as she passes out some of their favorite home-baked chocolate brownies. . .they love those brownies. . .but again, it’s more than that. They are kindred spirits with Ashley. One day one of the regulars did a little mock hold-up and told Ashley not to turn around, because this was a stick-up and to give him as many brownies as she could. Of course she recognized his voice, and he was able to stuff as many brownies into his pockets as he wanted. They love her so much, and she returns that love whole-heartedly.

Denie warned me that there might come a time when my own heart would be broken. That happened a few weeks ago, when we had so many people that we ran out of food. Not that we haven’t run out before, but there is usually enough so that everyone has at least one turn in line. In this case we literally had a few chips left, and that was it. One of the regular couples came late, and I will have their faces etched on my mind for ever. . .a look of hopeless shock and disappointment was there, and I truly felt helpless at that moment. But within minutes, people were offering to them a few extra sandwiches. They really weren’t extra, as this was their supper they were giving up. Without hesitation, they gave. I was amazed at this selfless act. They have so little themselves yet they give so generously. Like the widow’s mite they have shown me the faith of a mustard seed.

Being down at the park with our friends without homes, has taught me something that I have never known in my life. There is still so much to give. . .of myself, my heart, my time, energy and resource. When I think I’ve tapped those things out , it doesn’t take me long to realize, I’ve only scratched the surface of what I can give. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I have concern. (my concern translates to worry in 10 seconds or less. . .) But, a good friend just recently reminded me that “Our heavenly Father owns a cattle on a thousand hills” so, I am going to trust “Our heavenly Father.”

Monday, July 20, 2009


Our friends without homes sometimes get a bad rap. I have heard them called some of the most horrible things and it just breaks my heart when I hear it. I wish sometimes that people would take the time to get to know my friends without homes and see them for the wonderful, kind, generous and loving people they are. On that note I would like you to meet some of my friends.
Little Dan they call him. Every week he shows up at the park and he is also one of the last to leave. I usually end up giving him a ride somewhere, but he stays until I leave. Every week he walks the perimeter of the park and without asking him to do so, he makes sure the park is spotless of all trash. He says he does it so no has any excuse to not let us serve there, he then asked if I knew why he stands behind the serving line each week and waits for everyone to go through. No, I responded and he explained that he appointed himself security and he stays there so no one will mess with anyone. He said “Your family and no one messes with family.” We have never had a problem at the park so far, but it is a good feeling to know you have someone watching your back. It is also a beautiful thing to know that he cares so much about us that he is willing to step in to protect us if something should happen. I just hope he knows how much we care and love him in return.


Last week I was at the park until about eight in the evening and on my home I stopped at the underpass. I saw one of my guys (who lives in his truck) down there and thought I would say Hi. He put the tailgate down on his truck and asked me to have a seat. A little while later three other guys showed up and sat and talked to us. I remembered I had some brownies in the truck, pulled them out and we all sat there having a good time eating and sharing what ever anyone had to drink with them. We sat and laughed, talked about old times, dreams and even cried a little with each other. We sat there until eleven that night. Then they were off to find a place to sleep for the night. As a woman was I scared of these rough tough street guys, sitting under an overpass in to the late night…..No! If anything I considered it a privilege to have been invited into their living room (the tailgate of a truck) to share food and something to drink, most of all their company. To give you a little perspective, my youngest son (he’s 25) called over ten times wanting to know where I was and if I was all right. I left my phone in my truck and when I was leaving he was calling again. I answered and explained where I was and who I was with, his only response was “Oh, that’s okay I least I know you are all right.” He even knows that being with these guys, you are treated with the up most respect and nothing will happen.


Once again today I stopped at the underpass to just say Hello again. I ended up staying seven hours down there…..yes, seven hours. When I pulled up I was greeted with hugs and hellos. One gave up his piece of cardboard so I wouldn’t have to sit on the concrete. We sat there talked, watched people go by and just had a great time. I ended up running down to the local grocery store and getting fried chicken and a few other things, set up a serving table on the back of the pickup and had us the best little picnic under the overpass. Just about everyone got their bellies full and fell asleep, but I just sat there. As I sat there I got a glimpse into their world. No one knew if I was homeless or not, except those there with me. I watched as people drove by and stared as if they never saw a homeless person, they drove by yelling nasty things out the car windows not knowing the beautiful hearts these guys have. It broke my heart to see and hear these things. Instead of yelling back, my friends had made up signs that read, we love you, your special, signs not asking for money, but signs they say to spread a little cheer (now who is being rude?). I sat there looking at my friends as they slept and thought about how much they mean to me, how they have touched my heart and how I wished people could truly see them for who they really are. Yes, they are rough and tough, but they have to be to survive. Yes, there are a few that because of the way they act give the others a bad name. We can’t judge the whole bushel, just because there are a few bruised apples in the basket. By prejudging our friends without homes, you are the ones that are missing out. Missing out on their beauty, generosity, humor, brilliance, and the love they have to share. So, the next time you see one of our friends on the streets, instead of looking away, give them a big smile, a warm hello and treat them as the beautiful person God created them to be……..you just might find a friend in one of them.






Sunday, July 5, 2009

We are not just a Feed

His face is red and his body tenses as the hurt and rage builds inside.

He takes me by the hand and begs me to pray for him, so we take a walk and find a quite place.

He screams out about the hurt he is feeling and the rage he has inside

I put my arms around him and hold him closely and begin to pray like he asked.

I feel his body ease and the tears begin to flow.

Through his tears he say "I only wish my mother would have loved me, just once in my life."

I hold him tighter and whisper in his ear "I love you more than you could ever imagine."

He breaks and sobs, then looks me in the eye and says "You all are the only one's who ever really loved me and I know it is real. You are family."


Monday, June 1, 2009


WOW, it has been so long since I posted anything about the park, so I am going to make an attempt to get caught up here. As some of you know, I was going to the park on Sunday afternoons. A few months ago, Vivian a friend of mine, who I met while in Portland, sent me an email. She said there was a group (friends of hers) in a neighboring town that was interested in what I was doing in the park and if we could get together and talk. So, I am going to try and make a long story short here to get everyone up on what is going on.

So, she connected me with Todd Hunter (http://toddhunter.org/), his family and a wonderful group of people, who have a heart to serve. Shortly after they began to come down to the park to serve and love on our friends without homes. Sunday’s a lot of the churches will do dinners and lunches for our friends on the streets, so we decided to do something on Saturday’s were there was a greater need. So, we were on the move to find a new place. Until we could figure out where to go, we setup behind the local day shelter here and two weeks ago we made our move back to the park, a different park, but at least we are back in the park. In the park we can spread out, play some football, talk and just be friends and family hanging out. It’s great!

This new park is a place that I have always felt lead to go and I am so excited to be there. This park is located near the shelter and with in walking distance for our friends. It is also a park that a lot of the drinkers and drug users use to hang out and is known for its fights. Many people are afraid to go down and try to get to know the people there, but I feel this is where we are led and meant to be. In our move to this new park, I was afraid we would lose a lot of the people we were serving. We did lose a few, but as time goes on I think they will return. In the process though, we have so many new faces joining us. The ones who hangout down there all day, think it is just awesome that we would come down and hang with them. They clamor for attention, hugs and to be loved on. I have noticed that those who are new to the streets or that are new to town are coming to this part of the park as well, so every week there are new people and the numbers we serve are growing. Our first week down we served at least a hundred people and this week was at least the same…. how awesome to blessed by that many people coming down.

Well, let me tell you a little about the others who have joined in at the park. There is Todd Hunter, his wife Deb and daughter Carol. Carol’s friend Jen joins us as well as Jim and Tonya Haught and their daughter Ashley. Each and every one of them are wonderful people. They have come along, with others from their group and church and provided the meals for the park, what a blessing and an answer to prayer and I thank them so very much for this. Deb and Tonya make some of the most awesome meals and Ashley bakes some of the best deserts. I have people call from the shelter to ask what is on the menu, just so they know what to look forward to in the park. Jim and Todd have very companionate and caring hearts and it is good to see some of the guys from the streets connect with them. Carol and her friend Jen are just the sweetest young ladies and they jump right in to help serve, it is great to see them there. Like I said before, each and every one of them as well as the others who make it possible to serve and spend time with our friends has been a blessing and an answer to prayer. Their commitment to serve week after week just blows me away. Most of all, their compassion, willingness to open their arms and say “I accept and love you right were you are” and allowing themselves to be Christ’s arms extended to some of the most lost and broken people of our town, is the biggest example of God’s love they could be. I thank each and every one of them for seeing our friends through God’s eyes and loving with His heart. Lives and hearts are being touched in ways they don’t yet realize.

This past weekend we had some others from their group come down and join us as well. Kim and two young men from out of town, was great to see them jump right in and feel at home with our friends in the park. Many thanks to them for all they did that day and spending time with everyone.

Well, everyone lots going on and more to tell, but I am going to stop for now। I promise to try and keep up with my blogs and thanks to all of you that keep asking and are interested in what is going on। Also, I thank all of you that have kept us in your prayers. Much love to all of you!!! Below you will find pictures of our first day in the new park…enjoy and be blessed!

Park 2 May 2009

,Park 1 May 2009

Park 4 May 2009

Park 3 May 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I have had a few people ask about my drawings, so let me try to explain. About 3 or 4 years ago I started having dreams about certain people or when I was around certain people I would see these pictures. They always come to me in the form of a pencil drawing. So far, each one has had the hand of God doing or giving something to that person. When I start the drawing, I have a little understand of what the meaning behind it is, but it is not until it is finished that God tells me what he wants to tell the person for whom the picture is for. Long story....short, that's about it. I hand it over to them, tell them what I feel God is trying to say and let Him speak to them through it. So, below is a few of the drawings.



Monday, May 4, 2009

I AM ----by MIKE

My friend Ken,from HOMEPDX in Portland, recently posted on his website (http://www.homepdx.net/) a blog from one of his friends Mike. I thought I would share it with you. You can find Mike's blog at
http://pdxurbanoutdoorsman.wordpress.com/. I have enjoyed reading his blogs and if you get a chance, drop by and check it out.

I am…
I am the one you saw in the sleeping bag while you parked your car.
You shook your head.

I am one of those you saw standing in line for breakfast, actually you were gawking.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw walking towards the light rail.
You shook your head.

I am the one who stood so you would have a place to sit on the train since I was taking a short ride.
You shook your head.

I am one of those you see on a daily basis as you walk by the drop-center, again you gawked.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw sitting at Pioneer Courthouse Square reading a book while you ate lunch.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw as you hightailed it back to work so you would not be late.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw walking by as you took your afternoon break.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw while talking to you friends at the bus stop after work.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw while you were having dinner with friends at the restaurant with outdoor seating.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw as you and your friends went barhopping.
You shook your head.

I am the one you saw as you stumbled down the sidewalk after far too much to drink.
I shook my head.

Did you remember me?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Who Will Carry the Cross?

This morning I got a chance to have a quiet morning to myself. As I sat there, I was reflecting on the fact that it was Easter, which brough thoughts of what this day represents. I picked up my bible and began reading about the trial, Christ being led away, his death and the resurrection. In no way am I trying to take away from the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made for us, but I was being drawn back to something that happened right before his crucifixion.

As Jesus is being led away, he is no longer able to carry his cross. A bystander, Simon was ordered by one of the soldiers to pick it up and carry it for him. As I was reading this, I noticed not much is mentioned about Simon except that he was a bystander and where he was from. My mind thinks in weird ways sometimes, but I thought why Simon, out of all the people in the crowd that day and what was Simon thinking when he was ordered to pick up and carry the cross?

Jesus, weakened from his beatings, is no longer able to carry the cross. All condemned prisoners had to carry their own cross to the site they were to be executed. At that moment, did the soldier see past all that Jesus was accused of and what others thought and said about him? Did he see him as a fellow human being, someone in need of help? Did he have a moment of compassion and turn to Simon and say, “you help him with his burden?”

At that moment, what was going through Simon’s head? Out of thousands of people that day, was he thinking why me, I am a nobody? I am just here to celebrate the Passover with everyone else. That cross is big and the burden is heavy. Why do I have to get involved in all this, this is his problem not mine? If I carry that cross, the splinters are going to dig deep into my back and it is going to hurt. Doing this is going to take time away from what I came here for, the celebration, spending time with friends and family. Even though he was commanded to carry the cross, being in the large crowd he was in, he may have had the choice to say “no”. If he did, would the soldier have called upon someone else? But, like the soldier, did Simon see a person in need of help and have compassion for him?

As all this was swirling around in my head, I thought at this point was God trying to say to us “pick up the cross?” When we see a fellow human being broken, beaten down and weary from the burden they are carrying, will we be the ones who will have compassion and say, “I will walk along side of you and help.” Will we walk the distance with them or will we say “no” and turn and hide in the crowd? From what I read and I could be wrong, but Simon was no one special, just someone picked from a crowd of thousands, but what made him different was that he didn’t run and he helped carry the burden of the heavy cross to the end. We don’t have to be extraordinary people for God to use us; we can be a nobody in a crowd of thousands. But when we say “yes” when called on, He can do extraordinary things through us and change the lives of others around us. So, will you say “yes” or wait for someone else to be called? Just a thought!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A year ago today, I was sitting in the same spot. Alone in my office, sitting in front of the computer, reading when I was reminded of a something I told the Lord. You see, many years ago I had felt like there had to be more to being a Christian. I did the Sunday morning thing, joined the small groups and volunteered were needed, but it never seemed enough. I felt like I need to be out from the walls, be out in the community doing something, I did not want to wait for the people to come into the church, I wanted to be out with the people. In what way, at that time I didn’t know.

So, a few years ago I came to the Lord with a request or a challenge, which ever you want to call it. I had a hunger for more. A hunger for a deeper understanding of Him, a deeper relationship with Him and a overwhelming desire to serve Him in anyway He wanted, not in the way others said I should be serving. So, I found myself one night in my family room praying and what started off as a simple prayer, ended up with myself face down on the floor surrendering all to Him. Simply put I asked Him to use me or take me home. He responded by asking if I was ready to give up everything, no matter the cost? Yes, anything Lord was my response.

Then like an idiot, I challenged Him. I told Him, He had until I was forty-five. I was told over and over through out the years, that I should find a husband and be a wife. I have been single since I was twenty-one and never had a desire to remarry, so I told the Lord if that is what you want for me, it has to happen before I turn 45. I also told Him that if He was going to use me then He had to give me clear direction on what that was by the time I turned 45. If I didn’t hear clearly from Him, then I would be content with doing what the church says I should be doing.

As the years went by, I found myself many times being broken. Revealing things that I needed to work on or give over to Him. He began changing me from the inside out. Exposing deep hidden things, healing old wounds and showing me what I needed to change. Was it fun, no, but in the end it was worth it. He is still working on me, but I feel like I have that deeper relationship that I had longed for. In the mist of things going on in my spiritual life, the outside world was changing. Old friends didn’t want anything to do with this change in me, family thought I was nuts and I found them drifting further and further away. Then after almost ten years I was laid off my job. So, a little over a year ago, I found myself stripped not just from the inside, but my world outside was slowing being stripped away as well.

That is when He said to go to the park and just accept and love on the people there. I thought He lost His marbles or maybe fell of His throne and hit His head. First, I have spent sometime on the streets and swore I would never go back. Second, I had no idea how to do what He was asking or even how to start. He responded with a simple “Go.” Even my first day down at the park, I sat in my truck and though I can’t do this and was ready to drive off. I kept telling Him you have the wrong person and He would just say, “get out of the truck, you said you would do anything.” Well, those first few months were hard. Many mistakes were made, it was hard building trust with the people and it seemed like nothing was happening. I would go home and just cry and ask the Lord to please not send me down and I was beginning to question weather I heard Him right and if this was what I was called to do. Doubt started to set in. On top of that fellow Christians were telling me that a single woman should not be doing what I am doing, that it was not right and leave it to someone else to do. Had I not heard God correctly? Was all this a big mistake?

So, like I said before, a year ago today I was sitting at the computer. Reading emails and it was my 45th birthday. Then it struck me, the challenge I put before God, that He had until I was 45. As I sat here, I was still in doubt, thinking I missed the mark. Everything seemed to be coming against me and was wondering if maybe I heard wrong as to what He asked me to do. No one knew of this request or challenge I had put before God, it was between Him and I. As I sat here I reminded Him and asked one last time for Him to show me or someway tell me that I am on the right path and doing what He wants (it’s funny how He will wait until the last minute, just when your ready to throw in the towel). There were no great bolts of lightning or loud claps of thunder, just a simple ring of the telephone that changed my life. At that moment the phone rang and my son came in the room and said that some guy is on the phone for you, I don’t know who he is. When I answered, on the other end of the line was Ken Loyd (from HomePDX), a sweet man that I had met the month before. When I answered he said he had two things he felt like he need to tell me. One that he loved me, this meant a lot coming from him. The second thing about made me fall out of the chair. He said he felt like he was suppose to call me and then said “God told me to tell you, you are doing exactly what He wants you to do.” I broke down crying and Ken had no idea at that time why I was such a blubbering idiot, but to me it was as if the Lord picked up the phone and called to just say “Hey keep doing what your doing.”

So, a year later I sit in the same spot, not wondering what I am suppose to be doing or if I am doing the right thing. But, grateful for being stripped and broken, grateful that He said “Go” and never allowed me to run the other way. I thank Him for allowing me to be used; I thank Him for the new friends that have become like family. I find myself so very thankful as well as humble at the fact that He allows me to be a part of Him extended in the world, to love on some of the most lost and broken people. This past year He has shown me people through His eyes and how it is to love with the heart of the father. This has been the most amazing year and I can’t wait see what the coming year holds. There is so much more to learn and experience walking with Him. I no longer want to run the other direction, but ask Him to bring the adventure on…its going to be a wild and exciting one. By the way my wonderful friend Ken, thank you for picking up the phone and allowing God to use you, you changed the lives of many people that day and I love you!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Like I mentioned in one of my other blogs, I have been going (after the park) to the overpass. The overpass is located near the shelters. Across the street is the local skate park, were a lot of the young kids hangout. At the skate park there is a few metal tables were we can set food out. Back across the street is were some of my street friends will sit for the day. No matter the weather you will find them with nothing but the dirty concrete to sit on and graffiti wall to lean against. Crossing the street can be dangerous at times, people will not slow down or stop. Matter of fact we had one hit last week early in the morning. The underpass is a place that people probably ignore as they drive bye, never taking a second glance at the beauty it may hold. So, today I was only able to take a few pictures, but I wanted to share with you the beauty I find under the overpass.

Meet some of my beautiful friends without homes!!

POPS (Doug) I wrote about in a previous blog, he wanted to know if God loved little Ol critters like him. He stole a piece of my heart the day I met him and he will always have a special place in it.

Paul has such tender heart and compassion for others flows from this man. He has appointed himself as my guardian; always making sure no one gives me a hard time, not that anyone has or I ever anticipate anyone doing so, but he seems to think he needs to keep an eye on me.

Justin is the sweetest young man I have met in a long time. I had the greatest time today with him and his girl Sarah. Justin and Pops were singing songs and just acting goofy, was good to see him laugh.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Sunday’s after the park I go down to the underpass. There I do the same as I do in the park, give a warm meal but mostly hang out and talk. This past Sunday we had finished loading the truck backup and a group that we had been visiting with left and was walking down the street. My son and I were still hanging out when a lady with the group came running back yelling for help. One of the guys with them had roughed her up and threw her in the bushes. She was afraid that the guy who roughed her up was going to do something to one of the other guys and asked if we would help (they asked not to have the cops involved). So, my son, one other guy and myself jumped in the truck and went to help. To make a long story short, we got everyone back to the underpass without anyone else getting hurt. As we all stood there talking, the lady came up and gave me a hug and said “Thank you, you’re the only normal that has ever cared enough to help.”

I didn’t think much of the phrase she used “normals” until I was back home and it still has bothered me today. I had heard my friend Ken, in Portland, use this term before. He said it was a term that people on the streets used to refer to those who don’t live outside, have a job, the house, the family, etc.

I want to know how having all those things mentioned above makes you normal? I want to know why society says that by having all these things that you are in someway superior to those who have not and those who do not have are looked upon as if they are less than human. I want to know why when a homeless woman is assaulted on a busy street corner, no one stops to help and people look the other direction. If it were someone in a three-piece suite, many would have jumped into help.

So, why am I bothered? It comes down to the fact that I am hurt and ashamed. I am ashamed of those who would look down on and pass these wonderful people bye as if they did not exist. I am ashamed of my fellow human beings that cannot lend a helping hand to someone in need. I am hurt because these wonderful people are my friends and in some ways my family. My friends without homes love with a passion that we could learn from, they give more generously than I have ever seen and they have your back no matter what the cost. If I am sounding a little PO’d, I am sorry. When I hear statements like the one she made, then I get a little upset. Upset because I see the hurt in their eyes and the pain in their heart when they are looked upon as less than. Then I have to ask, is it normal to not care and turn a blind eye, if it is then I don’t want to be considered as normal. I want to be abnormal. I want to throw my arms around them and hug them. I want to tell them I love them. I want to be a shoulder when they are hurting and when they need someone to have their back, I want to be there for them. I want to sit along the underpass as traffic drives by say, “hey friend, how’s your day going?”

I do understand that not all people (normals) treat those without homes in this way and in no way am I implying that all do. But I am saying that those who think that in someway they are better because they have, remember we are all children of God and he doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t care how many toys you have in your toy box. He can take them away just as fast and you could find yourself referring to others as the "normals". All I ask is for you to see them for the loving person they were created to be and the beauty they hold inside. See them how God sees them and love them with the Father’s heart. Much love to all of you!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I encourage you to check out Walter's book "The Fellowship of Ghosts." There are not to many books that catch my interest enough to spend all night reading just to finish it, but I did with this one. It's also a book that I will keep around to go back to from time to time. I met Walter a few months ago and the longer I know him, the more I see the love and compassion he has for the people around him. A love that draws people to him, but also encourages them to be all they are meant to be as a child of God. By opening up and sharing his life with you, you see you are not alone in your struggles and you can overcome. Check out his book or drop him a line on his MySpace, he would love to hear from you!

Check out the book.

Walter Justice's myspace:http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=437613165

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Every week we venture down to the park on Sundays, to feed and see our friends without homes. I have a wonderful time with these beautiful people, but three or four weeks ago, I started stopping at the overpass on my way back home. Underneath the overpass is the local skateboard park, as well as home to some of my friends who live outside. I would drive by during the day and see many hanging around and at night you see many who sleep outside, rain, snow, and no matter what he temperature is they are there, camped for the night. There is no camping with in city limits, so it amazes me that the police don’t ticket them or run them off.

On my first visit down there, I met Pops, who I instantly fell in love with. Pops looks like he maybe in his late sixties or seventies it is hard to tell. He stands no more than about five foot five, gray long hair and beard to match. You can’t miss the bright orange beanie he wears and this small frail man disappears in his large winter army coat, it probably weighs more than he does. Pops is usual three sheets to the wind, but when he talks to you, his eyes light up (even though he looks as if he is blind in one eye) and he has the most wonderful smile.

This past Sunday, Pops showed up again. This time I was able to spend a little time talking to him. Pops asked why I come down to see them, no one else bothers with them he said and wanted to know if I was afraid to come down there. I told him that I love to visit with everyone down there and why would I be afraid to go somewhere that God has asked me to go? He looked at me a little perplexed and then asked me to look around and tell him what I see. I said I see downtown, traffic, people and everything else you might see standing under the overpass, I was not sure what he was getting at. Then he said, I see the snow covered mountains that God created, I see the rebirth of grass that died in the cold snow; I see the blue sky that God made for us today. He turned to me and said, I see God in everything around me, and most people are too busy to see him in the small stuff. I was floored and I admit I wanted to cry, because yes, I to get to busy at times to see him in the small stuff.

Pops then looked at me and said that he loves God, but wanted to know if I thought God could love a little OL critter like him? Do you think he thinks of me? Do you think I can do anything for him while on the streets? Do you think when he opens that book and takes a look at my life; will I have anything to show for it? Will he open his arms, welcome me and love me?

With tears in my eyes, I put my arms around Pops and held him tight. I then looked him in the eyes, those beautiful sky blue eyes he has. I told him that God knows he loves him. I know that God thinks of him always and when he does he smiles from ear to ear, you bring great joy to God’s heart. He smiles because he is proud to say this one belongs to him. When you meet him one day, he will welcome you with open arms, ask you to turn and see all the lives you have touched and I told Pops there will be many, many people standing there. I know because you have touched and changed my life just by knowing you and I know there are many more you have touched as well. Tears began to well up in his eyes; he said he needed to go. I put my arms around him, hugged him and told him I loved him. He said he would see me next week and he walked off.

So to answer you question Pops, “YES, GOD DOES LOVE LITTLE OL CRITTERS” and he loves you more than you can ever comprehend.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I understand that some are standing on the mountaintop and see things with undistorted eyes, seeing things more clearly. Then there are those who are in the valley, wondering in the dense forest, looking to get to the mountaintops. I asked God to show me the difference between the high peaks and the low valleys. First he showed me the valley, there stood the dense forest we need to travel through. Though our forest may not seem as dense as the forest others are traveling through, nevertheless it appears dense and dark to us. We pick a path and head out in search of the mountaintop. With each tree we pass our pack becomes heavier and we become weary.

Then He showed me the mountaintop. There you could find no obstacles to block your view, you could see forever and what lay before you was beautiful. You could see forever, because you are above the tree line. As you look down on the dense forest below, you realize those trees are crosses. They represent burdens or troubles that you have overcome. They are no longer a dark dense scary place, but a beautiful sight to behold.

As you stand on the top and look around, you realize that there are other forests that need to be conquered and as much as you would like to stay, you have to return to the valley. This time though you return with the new understanding as to how to get back to the mountaintop. This new forest is not alone and there are others trying to find their way as well. They strain and grow weary under the burden and trouble they carry and they ask if you would share in carrying the weight. Wanting to help, you agree. You soon find out that you once again have your own things you must carry and the weight of both is too much for you to bare. You have to give back the load that is not yours to be carried by the other on the path with you. They feel lost, alone and sometime abandoned to search on their own, but you reassure them that there is help. You tell them of the guide (Christ) that is waiting to help with the load and give directions to the mountaintop. You have been down a similar path before and the guide waits for you to call out for him. As soon as you search and cry out to him, he arrives waiting to carry you. Some will cry out to Him, but others will continue to ask man for help and look to them for direction.

We continue down our path to reach the peak. Some will have found the guide and we may even travel together. Others we will have to leave along the path, still crying out for help in the wrong direction. Do we leave them completely? No, we can always yell back to them that there is hope; they just have to look in the right direction. Do we waddle in the fact that some have made it to the mountaintop and have seen the beauty it holds? No, but we can tell them of the beauty and comfort that awaits them there. We each have our valleys we must conquer to reach the peaks, but if we had not found and called upon the guide to help take us there, we would still be lost in the forest. If we did not call upon Him, we could not look back on all that He has taken us through and all that He has bore for us. The mountaintop is a beautiful, peaceful place to be, but in the valley is where I draw closer to Him and find new paths to explore and conquer. I think instead of perching, I would rather be exploring and inviting others on the journey.