September 26, 2016

September 2016 Update

Sometimes out on the street it’s hard to see the little glimmers of hope shining through the cracks of the suffering. It’s easy to see the people either comatose or crazy from smoking spice, it’s impossible not to share the pain of loss when yet another member of the community dies from overdose, and it’s difficult to miss the morning self-medicating that allows people to get through another day. Sometimes you have to squint a bit to see the silver lining.

Thankfully, there are other days when hope gets all in your face like a puddle splash from a passing dumptruck on a busy street. This gaudy, audacious kind of hope surfaced last month when the young people at the Eastpoint Church summer bible camp had a contest to see who could bring in the most socks for the homeless (with the winning group deciding the color their youth pastor would dye his goatee).

Not only did the kids donate 1,000 pairs of socks to Grace-Street, but their now green-bearded pastor told me stories of kids driving through Portland, pointing out the window and saying “I bet that guy has a nice pair of socks. I’m so glad we could help him. It must be hard to be homeless”. Or perhaps the most touching was the story of young girl who had lost a tooth and informed her parents that “now that I’ll have some money from the tooth fairy, I can buy more socks for homeless people”.

Like I said, the miracles are sometimes subtle. And sometimes there as loud as a brass band, as bright as a shooting star and as full of hope as a new dawn.

Heartfelt thanks to all who help.