They aren't real people to me

They aren't real people to me.

That realization really sunk in during the homelessness simulation we did during the missions trip to DC this week.

The team gathered at Union Station after a full day of service, hungry and tired. We were given $2 each, split into groups of 3, and told to purchase dinner for ourselves and for someone on the street. And we had to walk to Chinatown.

I felt terrified. Initiating with strangers causes my heart and brain to freeze. Although I really long to share my life and to live authentically with my students, I struggled to communicate my fear to Levi and Eric (the two guys who were paired up with me during the simulation). Fortunately, they understood without my having to say anything.

A wrong turn gave me an extra half mile to get used to the idea of talking to a stranger. We were going to do this! We were going to walk to Chinatown, meet someone and have dinner. Adrenaline pumped.

Maybe that was why I just smiled at the woman who asked if we had any change. We were going to walk to Chinatown, meet someone and have dinner...in that order, I guess.

After a few blocks, I got to thinking: "Maybe we should have stopped and talked to that woman." I wonder if that itch of a thought was God tweaking my conscience. We were trying to notice actual people. I kept walking on by.

In fact, while God tweaked my conscience, I kept tooking for another homeless target. As block stretched onto block, I started to get tired, tired and frustrated. I found myself wishing that, on this cold night, someone would be stuck sleeping outside so I could buy them dinner.

They aren't real people to me...at least, not yet. At least I'm aware of it now.

They aren't real people to me...but they matter to God. I've been saying and thinking this all week. But I don't want to admit it to myself. I don't want to face the truth.

They aren't real people to me.

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