Whenever I go down to work in person with Church on the Street, which needs to be much more than I do, I always come away with some new perspective. Today was no different.
When I got to the park this morning I noticed a bunch of younger people picking up trash in the park and a couple of police cars setting nearby with their lights flashing. It appeared that the police were there as security for the ones that were cleaning.
The next thing I immediately noticed was a lack of the normal residents of the park, the homeless. When the police cars show up the drug dealers and prostitutes leave. But so do the homeless. It made for a quiet day of service unfortunately. Not that I’m glad there are homeless people to serve. I wish they all had homes, but I know they are around somewhere. Just not near the police cars.
I don’t go the other way when I see a police car. I may gawk out of curiosity, but I have no fear. I don’t see them as a threat.
I think the homeless on the other hand see a great many things as a threat, including police. Generally speaking, I would imagine that many of them have seen some of the worst that people have to offer. That’s why the mission of Church on the Street is so important. It is our job as followers of Christ to show them that there is still love in this world. That there are people who don’t just want to see them go away. People that see them as equals.