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, June 13, 2014


Last night at midnight

  we looked into the face

       of a homeless wretch --

    a man, living in total subjugation

        to his primal disordered brain.

With hurricane force

   he spewed raw anger,

     screaming irrationally at those

       who want to help, but can’t.

There is no shelter to contain him.

     No options. In any program. Anywhere.

Until he throws a punch,

    pulls a knife,

       jumps out a window,

he is free to wander through the night.

His name is Legion. We have seen him before.

He is gathering strength.

God bless those shelter workers

who persevere
in the face of Belial.

Monday, June 09, 2014

The panhandler

There is a space
between the lines
between the words
where there is room
for the real story of a life
to be discovered, 
tasted, smelled, handled.
That guy on the corner --
an aged drunk, using all guile to
extend his buzz --
quoted, with all eloquence
fifty years ago. Today,
I held the magazine
and read the quote
and heard it read
and shook my head.
There is an instant
between the days
between the moments
when there is time
for the real story of a life
to be discovered, 
tasted, smelled, and handled.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Making friends


When you help Operation Nightwatch,
you are making friends, and opening doors.

You are making friends with strangers and aliens,
people who live in the shadows,
and have no place to lay their heads at night.

You are opening doors to homeless people,
welcoming them into shelter and housing,
and guiding them in the path of wholeness.

Making friends. Opening doors.
Together. Thank you for your help.