Good morning all!
Today’s scripture:Luke 19: 41-42
41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Last night I slept in a tent in the front yard of McMinnville Cooperative Ministries. Jenny and I got there at about 945 last night where about a dozen or so church and community members were already set up. We were determined to stay the night to be in solidarity with our Everyday Congregation. Today there is a deadline. By 5pm we are not to have tents on the property. “Housing structures.” So we wanted to go out with a bang. We chatted with people on site last night. One person asked me from the everyday folks, “we all gonna share a bedroom called outside tonight?” I chuckled and said, “Oh yeah, it is a beautiful room.”
To be honest…it was noisy and uncomfortable. It rained all night. We were cozy in tents but outside the world still moved. It was noisy because there is a young man who brings out his boombox and plays loud music every night between 11 and midnight. He isn’t from our community but comes from somewhere in the neighborhood. There is loud traffic and a guy across the street who decided to rev his truck for a while to make noise and then flash lights at our tent. There was some talking and some passing through. The bus starts up early in the morning and so do the garbage trucks.
When I “woke” up, my hips hurt, I really didn’t have much sleep at all. I was chilly but not overly cold. I rolled out of the tent and went to make coffee for everyone. As I write, I am kind of in a fog. And that was just ONE NIGHT! I got a teeny tiny glimpse into what it means to sleep out in the world each night. I was grumpy after one night and we wonder why people don’t function in homelessness?
So we got up and debriefed. We prayed and we ate donuts and drank coffee and one of our everyday congregation left in a hurry. I followed him out. He stood in the back. Just staring at the tents that have been up for 6 months. He just stared and weeped. I will forever hold this image in my head. This man was weeping over the fact that we cannot be the stability he desperately needs in the same way. His home is going away. The place that he claims saved his life has to change.
All I could think about was Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Jesus knowing that the world was changing and not quite sure of the outcome but sad over what the empire said would be.
I asked our everyday congregant to come back in so we can talk more. He turned with tear stained eyes and said, “I don’t want to cry in front of everyone. I am just so sad.” I told him he could be. This sucks but there are folks inside who want to support. It is ok to be upset.
Who knows what will happen next. I walked out from that encounter to see this outside….
It is not lost on me that this is the symbol that God chooses to tell us that God is with us in the Bible. God won’t leave us here. Especially in Holy Week.
Where do you see God today?
2 Comments Add yours
These people of the everyday congregation have been an everyday part of my life for the past 6 plus months. I am weeping too for the way they are being treated by my own community members. This is a sad day for McMinnville, Oregon. We are seeing a little more of our humanity being strippedaway.
I am probing your blog for more information/insight into the “everyday congregation” there. It appears on this post that the church has relented to the powers that be. I am deeply discouraged by that. WWJD? But I am only get part of the story. I hope to learn more. I feel like I am solving a mystery novel or something, but really I care about these things.
I might just have to write a song for the Everyday Congregation. A song by a prophet in Texas about homeless people in Oregon – a beautiful place!!! I must say.
But I must go to bed tonight. Will be back to probe for again soon….
Fat Beggars School of Prophets