Monday, April 30, 2012
To Walk the Brick Streets, Part 1
Revelations 21 talks about golden streets, and someday my feet will feel them, but until then, God has put me on brick paths and concrete sidewalks to prepare me for those golden walkways and to love, oh to love, those who are so lost on the broken roads.
This weekend was a crazy journey. I would like to say it was filled with courage, but it may be a little better categorized by a few measures of stupidity. ha! But, I don't want to forget what I learned this weekend about brick streets and hopelessness and what love does and what hope really is, and I need to share it to get it outside of myself. These next few posts may not be refined or fun to read. They might be way too long, way too detailed, but this is the story, and I want to remember it well.
The story starts Friday night. Friday was Junior Senior Banquet at my college, and because one of my roommates (Bethany) and I are only sophomores and weren't invited by any juniors or seniors, we weren't able to go. Honestly, I was perfectly fine with that. I was feeling pretty tired, but I am very much into spontaneous adventures, so doing something crazy was more in my line of fun than going to a banquet with dancing and possibly awkward moments (most likely awkward moments . . . after all, I'm danae. ha!). Now every fourth Friday, the Portland Art Museum has free admission, and I was wanting to go again, so I kinda randomly asked Bethany if she wanted to go ride the max and go to the Museum with me. Well, she was up for it, so we figured out what max we'd have to take, and we ate a quick bite and headed over to the max station. I had suggested we could dress up, kinda as a substitute for not being able to dress up for JSB, but Bethany made this really good point that she didn't feel good about dressing up when going downtown. With so many homeless people, it just didn't feel right to dress up while they had nothing. That was such a good point, and I am so glad we didn't. But that will make more sense later. We also decided that we wanted to do at least one thing for somebody, one act of love. We wanted to have a fun time, but we really wanted a meaningful time. So with that in mind, we headed off!
We speed walked to the 82nd max station after eating in our school's cafeteria. We were pretty afraid we missed our first train as we fumbled to get the right tickets, but thankfully, we were right on time to get on the right train. We sat up front and talked and talked about this school year, and I felt perfectly safe being with her and my yellow tube of pepper spray. (:
It was fun to see the city from the max. That was only the third time I've ridden on one I think? Finally, we made it to our stop, and thankfully, Bethany has good navigating skills, so we made it to the art museum in good time. Bethany has wonderful eyes for art, and she was able to appreciate each brush stroke on the paintings and helped me appreciate it even more. It is amazing how people can capture such color and beauty, a hint of God's glory?
Well, after the museum closed, we headed out. As we walked, an older homeless man asked us if we had any spare change. We said no and kept on walking. On the right, we spotted a young woman with a cardboard sign. I didn't catch the sign's words as we walked, but she caught our eyes as we walked past. Bethany and I had been discussing what we should do to love someone, and we were trying to keep our eyes open. After we passed her, we talked for a little bit. It just seemed right to go back and meet her. I've heard how powerful it is when you look into a homeless person's eyes and get to know their names because they're so used to being treated like trash. So, we backtracked and headed for the woman. Later, I saw her sign read something like: "I wouldn't be holding this stupid sign if I didn't need to. Anything helps."
To Be Continued.