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.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Late Night Theology

Seahawk frenzy is building. First two stops tonight were so uneventful -- other than the fact that the Milk Maid was back at her post, having fallen and being on the injured reserve list for a month. Welcome back! The boys at MFQAT tried to talk me into watching the Superbowl with them. Feels like a loser thing to do, but then the wifey informed me she was going out with "The Aunties" and so I'm on my own (again) on a Sunday afternoon. Enough of my travail. I'll let you know if I opt for MFQAT for watching Seattle beat up on the Steelers.

If the first two stops were uneventful, wasn't prepared for the bombardment at 3rd & Bell. Lot's of illegal substances floating around the neighborhood -- early in the month, people have dough. Met Hispanic "G" again -- pretty drunk, asked for prayer; as our conversation progressed he escalated -- angry, suicidal, called me a liar so I quit talking to him -- he really irked me, but we made up before closing.

Listening in was "C" who works for an upscale caterer, very unhappy with self-loathing, alcohol remorse, sexual angst. Gave him my card, we shall see. He was loveable to me. Two guys name "K." One with beret looked to be making a drug connection after leaving the bar -- he was protesting his virtue just a few months ago. Alcohol is the true gateway drug. He's smart, political, and out of control, from the looks of things. The other K works for the bar, swamps the place out, backs up the bartender. When asked where he was going to watch the game he said "At the Adult Day Care" which would make a great name for this place, dontcha think?

Just before leaving met "Catfish" and looking at him started asking him questions. We finally figured out who he was, his connection from years ago at Nightwatch. He's still on the streets 8 years later, showing definite signs of brain damage from drug use. Paranoia. He ducked behind a parked car when someone was shooting off fireworks in the neighborhood, I assume in celebration of Lunar New Year and/or the upcoming Seahawks pre-celebration. This drew a big laugh from the other drug users and hookers close by.

"Missy" gave me a big hug and toothless smile. What a wreck of a human being -- you can see she had some potential, but her ruined looks thanks to meth and whatever - told me it was her 38th birthday, which literally took my breath away. She looks really tough shape. "I want to be 28 again. Is that okay?" I had to give her the bad news, no going back. "YOU HAVE TO SAY YES!"

I went from Missy to see what Father Kim was up to. "D" was telling him about his days at Princeton Divinity School, quoting scripture, testing us, owning his alcoholism, claiming the Holy Spirit. I was able to quote along a little bit (I'm really lousy at these sort of confrontations, but God does bring things to mind occasionally). "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities. . ." There was definitely warfare happening on the sidewalk last night. I think watching my friend "K" score something from one of the low-life dealers, well, it bugs me. Why a funny witty smart guy starts down that path, I'll never figure it. But God loves them all, and I'm right where I should be for my work. Lord Jesus help me be salt and light.
R, 1:00 a.m.


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