This morning, at 5 AM, I was cold. I sleep on the street and try to talk to people who need God. People are funny. They think they need houses and cars, new clothes and, well… things. I am 30 and have made my family very angry. We have a family business but I believe, no… I know that God has called me to make disciples. Disciplined learners who will take the knowledge of God to the world. Not a small endeavor.
I go to church. I like it. The people gathering and singing. People talking about what God is doing and some who have retired from the cares of this world to talk about and work toward the cares of God. There have been many before me who have decided that they want to serve God all the time. God said He would take care of us and that, like the animals and plants, we need not worry.
It is one thing to see these words, even read them from the writings of old. It is quite another to tell you mum and family that you are going to go sleep on the streets with those that are not acceptable in most houses and especially the church.
As I study God, I get angry that people build larger houses while outside, people are dying from hunger and exposure. I get angry at my church because it is such a magnificent place and yet, the leaders and workers of the church are well fed and well cared for while those that come in give to God, only to have the money go to… well, things. One of the leaders has underclothes that are special and cost more than it costs to feed the poor in town for… maybe a long time.
So, I sit here, cold and wondering when the Sun will come up. I hope that it is a nice warm day and not stormy but, working for God, those are not my choices to make. People huddle. The children against their moms, men and women and if I sit quietly, sometimes the little ones come to cuddle with me to keep warm. I have cast off the cares of this world and dress warm for times like this. That makes it hard when it gets warm during the day. In the early morning, it doesn’t… well, smell so bad. Sometimes, people and their dogs, cats and animals, huddled together like this to keep warm smell nice. However, during the day, phew, the odors are strange.
I had some very influential friends when I ran the family business but now, on their way to church, they go by quickly. They can’t touch me or my friends because they will get dirty. Can’t be dirty and talk to God. Need new clothes and have to smell nice to be there in the temple.
The folks are moving around. The sun is coming up. Thank God for the changes every day. Every second of every hour is different and then the seasons come and it is such a perfect world designed to give us pleasure. My friend came looking for me and I sat quietly. He peered at faces, first this and then that, trying to find me. I did not want to talk to him about snapping out of this nonsense, going back to work and being a pillar of the community. He and others that know me think I have gone quite mad.
He is talking to Mary. He is asking about me and she turns and looks me in the eye and smiles so slyly. She told him that the one he was looking for, the stalwart businessman that … well, that other me, is no longer around. She is a prostitute. She went to work selling her body because that is what she had to use to feed her family and now, older and not as appealing as the young girls, has become a mother to this group of wayward folk. My friend, is he my friend? He was when I had money and status but now shuns me because I have nothing. Mary brings me a cup of hot wine. We talk about life and love and loving others.
I finished my business and washed myself. Others are moving about and making deals for something to eat. Carry this or move that. Help the people unload their produce and goods and the children. God made so many and they need love and care to grow. Grow into what? They have so many choices before them.
Today, I will feed the hungry, and give drink to the thirsty. There are always those that are new, strangers to town that do not know what to do. Then I collect this old garment or that castoff from some rich person and give it to someone who has nothing. Talking about God and talking about love is easy. Being where people need you is not such a pleasant thing. You have to deny yourself to help others. Then there are so many that are sick and later we will bribe one of the Roman guards to take food to prisoners. I have a lot of work to do.
Excuse me, but my friends are not nice. They are prostitutes, thieves and killers. They are gang members and if you are not careful they will steal from you and maybe hurt you. They might get you do things you would not want others to know.
Still, following God is work. God cares for me like the lilies of the valley.
I have to go now. Tomorrow at 4 or 5 when it is quite, I might write more. The cares of this world are tugging at me everywhere. I understand that my family is trying to have me arrested for being crazy. The other day, I went to church and they were selling things. I got a bit angry (very angry) and I chased a bunch of people out of the church for selling things. Prayers, books, starbucks, my my, It is a house of God for prayer and care for others and they have made it a temple of style and grace, selling everything. Well, I lost it and beat people out. I understand that the leaders want me arrested too. I am sure they would just kill me if they could.
Today, well, every day, I talk about God with everyone. So, excuse me but I have to stop talking. Matthew writes so quickly and records letters from me. Perhaps, if you have time, at 5 tomorrow, you can bring come coffee and sweet bread but, I know you are too busy living in this world. Perhaps you will be able to join me in the next.