Interesting, heartbreaking, and encouraging moments can happen on the streets of Skid Row within minutes of each other. Yesterday, our water walk was put in jeopardy for a moment when a woman pushed another woman in front of a passing bus at 5th and San Pedro. The woman was injured and we have no status report as of yet, but this brought lots of police activity and closed the block off for a bit.
As we went out the back door of Union Rescue Mission, I saw a young man who looked out of place. A big, strapping young man, with piercing blue eyes, Hollywood good looks, and a great smile, full of life. He introduced himself to me this week as a young man with a very good job, but a deadly crack cocaine and newly found heroin addiction that has nearly killed him by overdosing several times in the last few weeks. My heart went out to him as I looked into his striking eyes and I told him, “You need to stay here and save your life!” Tears flowed down both of our eyes. He is still here. Pray for him!
Another man in a wheelchair grabbed my hand and yelled, “You are the unsung heroes! You are saving lives out here!”
As we walked, precious human beings lay in the corners of buildings, appearing to be near death. It was quite an experience for our young people visiting with us from Virginia on our Urban Experience. On the walk the day before, a drug crazed, very large and athletic man began jumping straight up into the air and kicking our boxes of bottles on the cart, telling the young people from Virginia that if anyone hurt them, he would take care of them. Our security person asked the man to calm down and he went off! We never know what to expect.
As we closed our walk yesterday, a tiny, quiet and very wrinkled lady walked up to me in front of the young people and gave me a theological lesson in God’s goodness. She said, “God provides! I needed a shower and clothes and He provided me with just what I needed at Union Rescue Mission just now. Now I am thirsty, and you have come along with a cold bottle of water, right on time. God always looks out for me, when I don’t try to run from Him!” She began trying to convert me until I let her know that Jesus was the reason that I was delivering the cold water. Jesus is the reason that we do what we do here at URM. Thanks for your support!