I don’t write things to better myself, get praise, or paint a picture that I am something I am not. But simply for those who care to read.
The longer I live the less I understand. This afternoon I woke up from a nap with a txt from a person in need. It was a simple request, “Would you at all want to drive a van for TNL tonight?” Sure. What else do I have to do. If I don’t who will? How many times have I said no, because of meetings, plans, studying, work, or laziness. Tonight I didn’t have any plans, so sure, when and where?
We get downtown to a parking lot filled with people bundled in clothes, circled up praying for dinner. Everyone lines up, women in one line, men in a second line. I’m new and mostly confused, so I stand in the women’s line for five minutes cause I can’t tell the difference. Discovering my mistake I go to the men’s line, a man with a bag of his things paces beside the line, he waits about five minutes for it to shorten as people get their plates. Then he gets in line behind me, I ask how it’s going, where he’s from, how come he’s here. He becomes irritated by something I say and begins yelling, I guess that was the wrong way to stand in line. But I get my taco from the nice church volunteers, he gets his. Mine I don’t need, I have saga on campus at school that I can get as many plates of food as I want 12 hours a day. He probably gets whatever is being given away at a myriad of places around Tulsa throughout the week.
I sit at a table and eat. The gentleman across from me walks away to get some clothes that are being given away. As I finish I wander to where a lady is playing guitar, a few men enjoy her singing and huddle around a propane fire. They tell each other what they are grateful for, and then talk and stand there. One guy has been on the streets literally his whole life, another is young but perhaps has the same fate set out in front of him.
Me, I don’t understand, I don’t see, how people are in this place, I want to empathize, I want something to change, it’s not fair or right, but I can see it. It exists, but what can be done to change it.
That was my night. I drove 10 people across Tulsa to see and interact with a problem. To see, and someday to change the problem. For having seen, we must do something. But more than a problem, each person at that parking lot is valuable, important, and loved by God.