Homeless, Hungry & Alone… chapter 7

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Homeless, Hungry & Alone...
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Chapter 7

Fast – Day 16

Monday morning – I woke up about 3am – warm in my sleeping bag – woo hoo!  The wind was calm and quiet and my tent was still upright… praise God!!  It’s going to be a great day!  Feeling a little anxious as I got up… probably just the ‘newness’ of getting up in a tent and needing to get ready to go to work in the dark.  Sipping on some warm vegetable broth (from my thermos).  This feels and tastes so good… I think it’s about 35F!  I can see my breath in the tent!! Getting ready and changing my clothes in a dark, cold tent was a little challenging – to say the least!  I can’t stand up all the way!  I left my clothes out in tent, so they are ‘freezing’!  Taking off nice warm sweatpants to put on freezing cold jeans… well, ok I’m not going to go into any more details, but let’s just say that my ‘lower half’ felt numb for about 30 seconds!  Finished getting ready, sat in my chair trying to stay warm and focused – prayed for peace and rest in my spirit and read the Bible via flashlight.   This is definitely a little different!  I’m off to work at 4:30am.

If you want good fruit, you must make the tree good.  A tree is known by its fruit. Matthew 12:33

A man speaks what is in his heart. Matthew 12:34

My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what my Father in Heaven wants. Matthew 12:50

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It’s lunchtime and my body feels very weak and I have zero motivation.  This is the 15th day of my complete fast. I feel like I just want to crawl back into my sleeping bag and take a nice nap.  Trying to pray but my mind won’t focus.  Seems like all I can focus on is a few short, simple words of worship.  That’s all I have to give at this moment.  It’s been even more difficult with some of the challenges I’ve been facing at work.  On my way home I was praying and just sharing with the Lord that I am losing the desire and motivation for this job.  Just being honest.  Lord, your Word says that when my mind and my body are weak, You will be my strength!  I need Your strength now.

I spent a quiet, but fun evening with Deb before retreating to my tent.  We spent some time playing games together. We haven’t spent much time together recently and in the midst of my fast and sleeping out in the tent, I don’t want to forget or neglect her.

Got back to the ‘campground’ about 9:30pm – a couple of people had fires going in front of their tents.  Oh, they looked really warm – especially since it’s supposed to be close to 30F tonight! Crawling into my dark, cold and lonely tent seemed a little surreal. I really wanted to go over there and warm up and chat a little with the other campers.  However, before that, I wanted to spend some time with the Lord… so, I sat in my tent… in the dark and started praying… and soon fell asleep.  I woke up about an hour later… in my chair and cold!! I crawled into my sleeping bag (which was cold too) and just laid there shivering until my body heat warmed things up a bit.   I tried ‘scooching’ down the sleeping bag in order to cover my head under the covers – didn’t work very well – sleeping bag too small and my face was getting cold.  I remembered my ‘ordeal’ this morning with putting cold clothes on in the dark – not fun!  So, I took the pants I was planning on wearing tomorrow and put them in the sleeping bag to try and get them at least semi-warm.   We’ll see how that works in the morning!

Fast – Day 17

Spent a cold, semi sleepless night in the tent.  I kept waking up because I was cold. Part of it I think is the fast (as the weight drops, so does the ‘insulation’) and I can definitely feel some hunger ‘pangs’ coming on.  Without a doubt, I am gaining more compassion and empathy for people living on the streets.  I was dressed warmly, had blankets and several sleeping bags, but just couldn’t keep all the way warm.  Even with me spending this time out here, it’s hard for me to fathom how people do this day in and day out… in the middle of winter!  I remember in Yakima, people were freezing to death out on the streets – absolutely unimaginable and frankly, unacceptable!  A combination of cold, hungry and tired is not a very comfortable place to be – but I realize that many, many people live this way every day.  It’s a lonely place to be crawling into a small cold dark tent all by myself.  When I woke up this morning and crawled out of my sleeping bag… it was so cold! I sat there in the dark for a minute realizing that there in that tent, I had few options of keeping warm.  I had on about all the layers of clothing I had and I had and no source of heat.  I grabbed the thermos that my wife had prepared for me and was thankful that it still had a small amount of warm vegetable broth in it.  I poured it into a cup and held it in my hands for a minute or so.  Ah, the heat resonating into my palms and fingers felt so good.  The simplicity of a warm cup of broth on a chilly morning to bring a smile to cold, lonely ‘homeless’ man.  I began to think about how many people out there, even just in my own community, I could bring a smile to with just a simple cup of warm broth.  I’m sure many!

I had brought a ‘tap light’ with me also.  Tried to turn it on, but it wouldn’t work.  Last night I fell asleep in my chair and I think the light was on – dead batteries this morning. Dang!

As I continued to sit there in the dark, I pulled out my bible and my flashlight to do my daily reading.  It was interesting reading this way, and again, how many people live every day/night by flashlight?

Lord, I pray for those who are living on the streets here in the Tri-Cities area.  I pray hope, joy, salvation and provision over their lives.  I pray that you would use their difficult situation to draw them to yourself and you would sent people into the streets to offer assistance where it is needed the most.  Lord, I pray that I would learn what it is you are wanting to teach me during this time and I would be open to hearing your voice and being obedient to what you would have me to do.  In Jesus’ name – Amen!

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Obey God and be at peace with Him – this is the way to happiness.

Accept teaching from His mouth and keep His words in your heart. Job 22:21-22

(paraphrased) There was a farmer to planted a crop.  Some seed fell on the side of the road where birds came and ate them up.  Some seed fell on rocky ground where there was not much dirt.  The seeds sprouted quickly, but the hot sun scorched the seedlings because they had shallow roots.  Some seed fell into thorny ground.  When they grew, the thorny bushes overtook them and chocked them out.  But, some seed fell into the good, prepared soil that the farmer intended.  This seed sprouted and grew – producing 100, 60 and 30 times!  Matthew 13:1-10

This morning as I thought and meditated on this scripture, I saw people at work who represent the different types of soil.  I can throw out lots of ‘good seed’, but because people are at different places in their lives, some will be like the rocky, thorny and barren land; not able to receive the ‘good seed’ in a healthy manner.

Lord, I pray for those I work with this morning.  I know you love them and created them for relationship with you.  I pray for an awakening in people’s hearts Lord – that the dark veil that hides you from them would be removed so that they can see clearly their need for you.  I pray for Salvation to come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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The more time I focus on judging people, the less time I have to love and appreciate them.

Deception – thinking that I have something that I don’t

The more my focus is on following all ‘the rules’, the less my focus will be on loving God and loving others

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