Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"Michael" in the hood

Ok so the Messiah turns out to live in the hood. I didn't know it.

He walked into the dispatch center last year -- in the fall (I don't want to wade through the archives -- in fact I can't remember what name I made up for him.) Anyway "Michael" had shown up in our shelter dispatch program at 11:30 -- an old lady in tow. We managed to get this grandma a place in one of the women's shelters for the night, while Michael pulled me aside to tell me he was the Messiah. I told him I thought what he meant was that he was a disciple. I encouraged him to come back during the day to visit me so we could talk some more about it.

I never heard from him until about three weeks ago.

He started showing up again -- he lives in an assisted living program nearby. We've been having these charming talks the past few weeks -- I try to cut through the mental illness stuff -- and focus on reassuring him that he is loved, that he's not beyond hope. He wanted me to hear his confession of all his sin -- going steadily forward from age 4 (stabbing a sibling with a pencil) to recent bad choices. Now I'm trying to get him to identify small steps he can take to help others, and live in the realization of being forgiven.

Mental illness and religion -- requirement or impediment? Kidding.

So, now we're on a schedule -- 4:00 Thursday our 30 mins together. It is manageable, and it keeps me on my toes. Pray for us.



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