Sorry I haven’t written in a couple of days, but honestly I just haven’t had the words. The last few days have been rough, as you read in Vicki’s blog (which made me cry—but I cry about everything right now). Y’all, I thought no one could possibly see what I was feeling on the inside… the pain, the confusion, the depression, the “survival mode.” But she could.
I guess that’s what happens when you have a soul mate. They see your soul, even if it ain’t pretty.
It really hasn’t gotten any better, either, between some difficult Manna Café issues and all this rain. The weight is almost unbearable. There are moments of daylight, though, when I get to talk about what God is doing and what He’s done, like today at a luncheon I spoke at. It’s always fun when I can brag on what God has done.
I’ve taken some long prayer walks in the rain. On those walks, besides getting wet, I’ve prayed for this city, for our poor, for our homeless. And for those who can’t see the need in our community, I’ve prayed for their blinders to be taken off. Then I come back to camp.
What’s confusing is that there is a part of me that dreads coming back to camp because it’s here that the heaviness sets in—the depression, the loneliness. I know how crazy this sounds, but at times I feel so alone, even though I can call Vicki or text someone at any moment. I can almost hear myself: My God, why have You forsaken me! So all I really do is sit here and weep! I’ve heard that tears are “the tongues of the heart,” and maybe that’s true because ever since my first day of “homelessness” this year, my heart has been broken.
But there’s another part of me that can’t wait to get back to camp because, amongst all the complaining, weeping, and crying out, I know that Jesus is right here with me, and He holds me and cries with me. I know this sounds like the ramblings of a crazy man, but I’m just being real.
So, as the rain set in today, I came back to camp and hunkered down because it’s supposed to get bad over the next 24 hours. I keep thinking about those friends who are spread out over this city, this nation—hunkered down in their tents just like me tonight… except, unlike me, this won’t end for them in three days. They don’t have hope for tomorrow because they know it will most likely look like today and yesterday, which seemed hopeless. They know they’ll have to go out and scrounge and beg for food, or starve. Their clothes are wet, they’re cold, and that’s just the way it is. They have accepted that that’s just the way life is. I wonder how many times they’ve cried out, God, why have You forsaken me?
Lord, as I sit here in this tent, watching it rain, I pray You’ll have mercy on my friends and show them You do care. You haven’t given up on them. Lord, raise up people who will be Your hands and feet, who will show them they’re not alone, and that You are there. Restore hope in them, the hope of You, Jesus.