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, April 21, 2006

April 21st Birthday

This day -- April 21st -- nevers go by without my remembering my friend Ron.

We were just a month apart in age -- good friends growing up. When Ron was 9th grade he started exhibiting signs of schizophrenia. By the time I was in college he was in and out of institutions, often times on the street, or living in a half-way house, or a commune someplace. Then in 1976, he disappeared, never to be seen again in Seattle.

For years his absence haunted me. Then one night I had a dream. Ron knocked on my front door and said "Look! I'm fine!"

I took it to mean he was in the presence of God -- and I haven't worried since.

But every once in a while I look at some homeless guy at Operation Nightwatch and wonder, what would Ron look like now, on his 53rd birthday? Behold, God is our salvation, I shall trust, and not be afraid. . . .
PS - Ron's parents volunteer for Operation Nightwatch.

Tribute to a Friend

We were best friends when we were little.
I stayed overnight at your house.
You stayed overnight at mine.
But 30 years ago you began hearing
What no one else could hear.
You saw things no one could see.
Then you disappeared down the highway,
Seeking relief from a tortured mind.

In my heart, I believe you arrived
At a place of rest and peace;
And I think you landed there quietly.

But I still see you in dreams,
And I still look carefully at each face.
I’m not the only one looking.
I’m not the only one remembering.
I’m not the only one with a loved one

on the street.


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