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.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


It's weird being stereotyped. I wear a clerical collar. I go to Safeway, people stare. I pump gas, and they can't believe it.

Tonight I visited Tent City 3, currently located at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. The folks on security were happy to see me -- Nightwatch ministers drop by 3-4 times a month, usually bringing goodies.

So I had some breakfast bars and flashlight batteries. (They really need paper plates and cups, they told me. And next time bring AA batteries, not those big old D cells. Who knew?)

Anyway, we're talking and one of the guys says, "Do you always wear the collar?" And I said, "No, I take it off when I'm talking to a hot chick."

His mouth fell open and then he started laughing. I told him I've been married for 31 years. But it seriously messed with the "clergy" pigeon-hole. It led to a nice extended conversation.

What stereotypes do you hold onto? Homeless? Racially different? Wired funny? Republicans? Buddhists? Christians? Muslims? Sex offenders? Ex-cons? Rich? Poor? Lutheran? Bachelors? Farmers?

See, there's no end to it! Let people be people, I say!


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