Sunday, January 1, 2012
I get strange attachments to some of my material objects. One of them is my backpack. I was gifted this backpack by two friends just before I went to Africa. Its traveled with me basically everywhere and we have many stories together. We've seen many airports and many dirt roads. This backpack has been with me to camp, to work, to south Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, India, Vancouver, Saskatoon...basically everywhere I've gone since I was 17.
Tonight I packed it for a new adventure. Adventure isn't the right word though...pilgrimage...
My shift is over in approx 5 hours, 3 of my friends will pick me up and we are headed to east Hastings in Vancouver, we will each bring minimal changes of clothing and a sleeping bag...we are going to go experience street life for a week and a bit.
I would be lying to say I wasn't nervous, I would be lying to say I am not feeling a bit of anxiety over this. Homelessness is far more then not having shelter. And its not something that we will understand after only a few days. In fact I slept under a bridge one night before and sometimes looking back on that experience I laugh a little thinking how profound I found that night...it was profound but it was only a fraction of what the reality of homelessness is.
I think God calls some people to intentional poverty, I remember thinking that in Africa, because in reality what we have to offer as followers of Christ are not material things, nothing that would fit in a backpack, but it is the hope of Christ...its hope that the pain we feel here and the nasty stuff we go through is not all there is, its hope that we are loved by perfection and that He offers us freedom for all the things that hold us in shackles. Sometimes I feel like I may be called to interact with poverty in a different way, not as a helping hand in a yellow shirt, but maybe just as a girl who loves Jesus who is seated on the pavement beside you. Maybe this week will make that clearer..