If you didn’t know…
Skid Row is a popular block close to Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. It is home to the homeless. Tents pegged everywhere, smells, garbage…and then men, women, and families.
It is home to some good people who made mistakes, good people with unfortunate stories, people with good stories who made poor choices, and others.
Yesterday, I saw miracles on Skid Row. I saw miracles in the streets. But first,
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat… (Mt 25:35-42)
For about two weeks, the Holy Spirit seemed to pull strings inside of me, pointing me toward that end. So, instead of the regular dose of Sunday Service and Sunday Netflix, I decided to follow Him. And the entire day turned out to be one big divine appointment.
Its the miracles on Skid Row I wish to highlight today.
I got together with some folks who visit Skid Row each Sunday. We went out, set up a tent, and just worshiped God with guitars and all. I was told that the homeless don’t show until they start giving care packages. But, as we just sang, they started coming out. Some to worship, sing, talk, and pray with and be prayed for.
Then, we started giving out care packages – sandwiches, soda, apples, and water. Then this one homeless woman (in the photo) showed up. She was anything but ordinary. She prayed up a storm and blessed people and us too. Then, I met Mary. And this is where it all started.
See, Mary was standing by her cart on the other side of the street. I went to invite her and she wouldn’t budge. She kept saying, “Next Sunday.” Translation – never. It turns out Mary was broken inside. Lost all hope. Felt worthless. So, I brought stuff to her and just talked. Then Mary said, “I want pants. Do you have pants? Its cold and I ain’t got none.”
I told her I was going to ask but doubted there was any. So, I went back and asked and well, there wasn’t any. Right when I picked up some more stuff for her and walked over to Mary and her cart, a brand new pair of jeans all glittered up was in her cart. I was shocked and asked how that happened. She said, some random person came by and gave it to her and left.
???? Random person ???
As I walked back, a car pulled up and said I got stuff for you guys, pulled out some bread, a guitar, and pointed us to a backseat of Hand Sanitizers. And people, let me tell you. These good people with unfortunate stories love their Hand Sanitizers. They would kill for one.
Not long after that, car after car came by with more food, groceries and drinks. And I was like, is this the feeding of the five thousand again? The big one was roasted chicken. Wooo! It got through in a flash. But here’s the mysterious thing.
All those folks who brought stuff? We didn’t know them! I inquired and I was told they were not friends (but for one or two). Most of these kindhearted folks were just lovers of our Lord Jesus who saw what was happening and decided to unite in the pursuit of applied compassion.
And, I haven’t ever seen a homeless man serve God with gladness like one homeless brother who showed up to serve alongside instead of being served. It was humbling. He was diligent, making sure nothing was wasted. He would tell you point blank if something was good, if chicken bones was still enough chicken for someone and all that good stuff.
He knew who needed extra and who had a wife or kids to take food to. I really enjoyed how others who came thought of asking for extra for loved ones and neighbors who they felt would never approach the tent for personal reasons.
When I reflect on the privileged service and conversations, I can’t shake the thought that some of these men and women in unfortunate positions who have had to make compromising decisions to protect or provide for loved ones –
may just turn out to be better human beings than me and some of us
This humbles me.
I chose to share this to give glory to God for inviting me to be a part of this and also to share this as a piece of the bigger story we the redeemed have a part to play in.
Lessons Learned or Reinforced:
- Think baby steps. Take baby steps.
- If you think its the Spirit. Test it. Go and do it and you’ll find out real quick if its Him or not. Sometimes, that’s the only way.
- Swift and complete obedience with no reservations.
~ One Love, One Spirit