One year ago tomorrow, my friend and mentor-by-example Larry James invited me down to South Dallas to spend time on a little corner we affectionately started calling "the Corner."
Neither he nor I knew it, but it would be a day that would forever change my life, as I began to have my heart warmed by a group of people I formerly ignored.
They are people without homes, but they moved right into my heart, and through their love for me, began to change my life. Read More
In my extremely privileged life, I have never had to take public transportation in Dallas. I have chosen to ride "DART the train" before for FUN, but I have never taken a yellow bus around town.
My bus-riding interest has been peaked over the past year as I have gotten to know so many homeless men and women whose primary means of transportation is taking the bus (or walking).
So, even though I am slightly terrified of the experience (I have been quite coddled :)), next week I plan to take the yellow bus all around Dallas -- from my home in North Dallas to my work in South Dallas I will go. I will take the bus wherever I need to go that particular day. Read More
The cops pulled up, brown dust billowing out from their official vehicle.
I felt anger.
We were walking from the north; they were pulling in from the south. Read More
I needed it the most.
As my friend Elissa said last week, "I am the first convert of my own ministry."
You see, I needed to be changed. I needed my world opened up. Read More
On Saturday, July 26, together, those that are homeless and the non-homeless will gather in South Dallas to pick up the trash on the streets.
This is not meant to be just a service project, but a coming together in community to care for an area of town that is often forgotten. Read More
Zoila* is a beautiful little lady with kind eyes and a sweet smile. She was new to the shelter just about six weeks ago now. Since the first day I met her she has never missed our little Thursday morning Bible study. Read More
If there’s anything I learned through washing the feet of the homeless, it’s that feet are just feet.
I have always been slightly terrified of touching feet, and I really didn’t understand why anyone would choose to touch another person’s feet, unless perhaps they belonged to your sister, friend, or spouse. Read More
It's not that the needs are growing, but rather than my awareness of the abundance and breadth of the needs is.
As I reflect on this past year of going down to the streets and spending time with those who are homeless, I see God's hand on every step of my journey. A year ago, I'm not sure I could have handled the bigness of the needs. I'm sure even now I am only scratching the surface. Read More
"I have done bad things. I have done bad things that have hurt people I love," said the very kind-looking, soft-spoken man sitting on the curb in front of me.
The sea of men around him passed time as best they could, waiting -- most in the shade but some in the sun -- for the doors of the shelter to open for them.
I had knelt down to talk to three, three whom I had never met. Read More
She is someone whom I am tempted to pass quickly by. Sometimes raw human need is still hard to see and smell.
She pushed a cart, full of plastic bags and cloth bags, filled each of them with her belongings.
Even though sometimes I want to move on, my experience with Allen taught me not to. It's better to stay there in the moment with the person in front of me than it is to move on to something that feels more comfortable to me. Read More
The day was beautiful. Just perfect. Picture perfect really (many more photos to be shared soon) –
the mixing of those who have homes and those who live in a shelter or on the streets,
the open way in which both groups interacted, . . . Read More
"The most spiritual things are often the most practical. What's more practical than washing the feet of those who walk around on their feet all day?"
~Larry James at Feet Washing today
This is a small snapshot of what happened today as we gathered -- homeless and non homeless -- to wash one another's feet. Over fifty people were there at the beginning as we stood in the circle below to pray -- and it wasn't just the non-homeless, but the homeless and the non-homeless, all of us together. In fact, when my friend Jessica walked up, she said the most beautiful thing was that she honestly couldn't tell who was homeless. Read More
I left the woman in the wheelchair and walked over to her today. I had never seen her before. I said, "Hi, how are you? My name is Elisabeth," as I reached out my hand.
She said, "Hi, I'm Lila. I just got here." Read More
Rain sprinkled down as we gathered Thursday morning to read the book of John. We sat and stood with the coffee cart under a small line of trees that kept the ground below fairly dry. Thanks to my friends Becky and Melissa, we had large-print Bibles for all.
It was a lively day, with strong personalities with lots of different opinions. As we talked, I learned that a few of my homeless friends had to sleep on the streets the night before, including one woman who has been coming to our study essentially since it began. Read More
I have been honestly overwhelmed by the immense support coming from our "North Dallas" community.
Almost every need that has been presented, either through this blog or through my newsletter, has been met.
Not only are people coming to help in the specific ways I post here, but they are also using their unique skills, gifts, and resources to find new, creative, and different ways to support. Read More
As I pulled off of the toll road at the Northwest Highway exit, I prayed I would make it through the yellow light. I did not want to have to sit uncomfortably in my car next to the one-legged man on crutches who was begging.
Keep your eyes straight ahead, I thought to myself.
Don't make eye contact. Read More
What I first noticed about Allen when he started attending the Bible study two months ago was only that I had never seen a homeless person as unclean as he was. My friend Nancy, who came to the Bible study the second week Allen attended, didn't seem to notice the uncleanliness, and she put me to shame, placing her arm around his shoulder, just lovingly caring for him all morning. Read More
All I could think today when the barefoot man with half a right foot walked up today was "Did Jesus really mean it when he said, 'Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me'"? Read More
She's not ready to leave him.
The abuse has happened sporadically for at least six months now.
She is almost ready to leave—when he does something really "extreme"—but then she stays. Read More
For six months or so, I have dreamed of bringing music to the streets. I just imagined what the musical waves streaming down the streets could do to lift spirits and bring joy!
A month ago, I spoke briefly at our church about my new work, and I had the bright idea of volunteering our very gifted musical pastor Jay to make it happen! Of course, I didn't tell him beforehand that I would be volunteering him, but still he was good enough to come, along with another man who goes to our church named Paul. Read More