Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

5 July 2008

And to all a good night?

I never fancied myself a "street ministry" kinda guy. But 3 three years into a very simple free barbecue on the streets have given me glimpses into a world that can be truly heartbreaking. It's a world that a hot dog and a smile just doesn't fix.

It was a very slow night on the street tonight. Some are just like that. But about 1:30am or so a skinny but very pretty young lady named Leanne wandered up to our grill with a floppy suitcase and a garbage bag with her named written on it. She wouldn't eat our hot dogs but sat on the sidewalk and ate 4 or 5 buns covered with mustard on one side and ketchup on the other.

She told us that she had just arrived on the bus from Hamilton and was looking for "The Onion". The strip club around the corner from our church used to be called the Red Onion. She said that she was supposed to go there and asked us if we either had some rubber gloves or knew where "the clinic" was. It didn't occur to most of us what she was really asking until later.

She was planning on making some cash to get a place to crash for the night. One of our street regulars who we call Gandolf was sitting quietly eating a hot dog and quickly offered her his bed for the night. He'd sleep in the bathroom since there were two others in the living room. Leanne quickly accepted and was eager to get moving.

I don't know if what we saw was a very cool act of kindness or a really horrible night waiting to happen for Leanne. We glanced around at each other and rounded up 10 bucks or so for Leanne to have some "breakfast". She, with a very genuine smile and words of appreciation, wandered off with Gandolf to live a night I'm sure she's lived many times over.

It's a corrupt world we're living in my friends. It's full of abusers and victims of abuse. But their are very real people living a very real and frightening life in our community... whether we choose to see them or not. Tonight our hot dog buns and ten bucks may have filled Leanne's belly and pepped her up for a minute or two... but it's now 2:53am. I'm about to crawl into bed with my beautiful wife. I highly doubt Leanne's experiencing anything remotely similar.

Pray for Leanne. Don't forget that she's the handiwork of a King.

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