Met a woman I knew some years back on the street as an addict. She still had a can in her hand, but she certainly needed it. Several days previously both her parents were killed as a result of a car crash. Dad died first, them Mum 24 hours later. She wasn’t sure how they’d pay for the funeral, but an uncle could probably help. Poor woman, I really felt for her! We shared with each other news of some other street folk we both knew who had died from drink or drugs this year.
Next day I was in the town centre with our inter-church Healing Team. At one point this short stocky man of around 60 came up to us and started slagging off Christianity, Jesus and the Virgin Birth. We hadn’t even said anything to him!! He then, believe it or not, said: “If either of you interrupt me I’ll punch you in the face!” We let him rant on about how nonsensical the Christian faith was, then I finally said:”when do we get a chance to reply?” He then looked at my team leader and said:”you’re a disgrace; you’re unshaven and you have dandruff on your coat!” He turned to me and said:”you’re not too bad, but I’m older than both of you!” I replied: “I doubt it, I’m 71″ That surprised him, as he then said:”ok, I’m not older than you” He then ranted to us that there were Jehovah’s Witnesses along the road and we should be going to talk to them. In the end I simply walked away, annoyed he was wasting time we could be using productively to reach out to other people.
A lovely woman from the local Homeless Team came in today on behalf of a client. As we chatted she mentioned that occasionally she gets a call from the coroner asking her to go to the local mortuary to identify the body of a homeless person. She knows nearly all the people on the streets. On one occasion she attended a homeless guy’s funeral and she was the only mourner there.
Later this afternoon a woman came in who was homeless and sleeping in a local car park. We warned her of the dangers she faced and to look for somewhere safer while she was being assessed for accommodation. A member of our team went out to his car and came back with a sleeping bag for her.
A couple came in later and the woman started reading out loud from a gospel leaflet on the table in front of her titled “Why Did Jesus Come?” This led into a conversation about being a Christian and forgiveness. She said God might forgive her, but she could never forgive herself for some things she had done. Her boyfriend chipped in saying “you should get things sorted out in your life” and “there’s lots you need to let go from your emotions”. She didn’t disagree. I mentioned to her about a free counselling service and she seemed interested. She gave me her name and phone number and I promised to text her details of how to contact them.
A middle aged black man then arrived. He was really chatty and in conversation he said all his family attended church except him. He was a very jovial, funny guy, so he laughed out loud when I said: “so you’re the black sheep of the family!” He said he might get round to the God thing one day. I suggested he might want to join his family in church and get sorted out sooner rather than later. I reminded him of the recent Germanwings air disaster where tomorrow never came for around 150 people.