The Experience

I walk the familiar road. The one with the bright green trees and tall grass. The one with the steps to nowhere, the steps that serve as the last reminder of a once vibrant neighborhood. I turn the corner and I see the people. The people whose sleeping bags litter the walkways. The people whose voices ring through the emptiness.

Except it is not empty. Though it is void of human-made beauty — there are no fancy homes or manicured lawns — it is ripe with life. Life swells as I walk down the streets. Life calls to me as I stop to talk. Life invades my world, my worries, my distracted mind. 

Photo by Christena Dowsett •

Photo by Christena Dowsett •

I am full. I am surrounded. Like it is the most real thing around, I experience a Presence. Though I used to know a lot about this Presence, now I experience it. I used to mostly engage with it through my mind; now, it comes to me through the smell of fresh air and the sight of green trees and the hugs of people on the street. I am there with them, and It is there with us.

I need the physically poor because through them I experience the reality of my dependence on this Presence. I believe that is why it comes so tangibly to me on the streets. It is impossible to do life there and not have a deep awareness of the need. The funny thing is, it isn't their need that hits me most; it's mine. And my need hits me through the filling of it. The Lord God meets me on the streets. He loves me, He binds up my wounds, and He fills me with joy.