Last night I had the chance to go out on Nightwatch again with the Salvation Army. In Nightwatch we visit various places where homeless people live in the city and take them some hot food, coffee, a blanket, and pray with them. We climbed under a lot of bridges and had the chance to talk with about 20 people and pray with each of them. Around 2:00 am (we started at 8:00 pm), I came home and got into bed, and a nagging thought has stayed with me from then until now – “They’re still out there.”
As I woke up at 10:00 this morning and went to take a nice hot shower, I thought, “They’re still out there.”
As I watched UNC beat State in football, I thought, “They’re still out there.”
They’re still out there – each of the men that we prayed with and gave food to are still sleeping outside on the street. One was sleeping in the front doorway of my church – we had spoken with him at about 8:30 pm, and saw him sleeping, somehow, on the concrete at 2:00 am in the cold night. There were men sleeping on pipes suspended beneath the bridges, men sleeping in abandoned trailers, men in church doorways, men on foam mattresses beneath highways, men in a shed behind a local business.
Sure, it’s nice that we gave them a warm hat and blanket and prayed with them. It’s nice that 5 Christians gave up their Friday night to do some good deeds. But for the rest of that night, and the rest of that week, those guys are still out there. And I don’t know what to do with that.