Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sunday 7th Jan 07

I first heard of Faith Walking when I was about 8 years old. I was in the back of my Grandma's car and heard some people in the front (not sure who) talking about how Grandma had put up a married couple at her house for a couple of weeks. They talked about how the couple said 'they traveled places with little or no money, and knocked on house doors asking for somewhere to stay, trusting in God to provide for their needs.' They called themselves 'Faith Walkers'. The idea always intrigued me. I recently asked my Dad and Uncle if they remembered anything about it, but they didn't.

(Update: My mum remembers further details: It was a young couple with a baby, from a church, that had nowhere to stay as they were 'living by faith', and they only stayed a couple of days. In their discussions on Christianity, my Grandma questioned the man's responsibility of living this way with a wife and baby, and he questioned my Grandma's wealth and body weight [re: consuming too much]. Angry at his comments she asked them to leave.)

I had spent the night at a friend's house, and slept in. The temptations of a quiet dark room and soft carpet! My plan was to head to the Rosie's lunch at Catani Gardens, in St.Kilda. I was about 2hrs walk out of the city (I had used up my travel pass and money) but felt like a brisk walk to wake up to the day, and so headed off. I was pushing for time to get to the lunch and so I again toyed with my number one temptation; to free ride in on a tram.

A few days ago I had walked for an hour and a half into the city and was tempted then, but as I was not pressed for time it was pretty easy to ignore. When I got halfway up Brunswick St I bumped into a street friend and we had a good chat. He asked me for a drink and as I had $2 at the time, I bought us a can each. After he left, I was really pleased that I had not jumped on a tram, as by walking I had been able to have this good unexpected meeting.

So back to Sunday, I was able to overcome the temptation (and the time pressure was really strong), and do the right thing, partly thanks to the blessing from doing the right thing previously. Then as I was walking up Smith St I was greeted 'Hi John!' It was Angela from the Steps Ministry I had met on my first Thursday night of the journey. She and some other girls from St.Martins were having a chit chat and asked me to join them. I sat down and she explained what I was doing to the other girls. I'm a bit surprised I am still quite hesitant in explaining what I am doing to others, I should be used to it by now. As we all talked we discovered 'small world' connections as we had mutual friends, and attended same churches, and one of the girls had even been a part of 'Wipeout' (a church youth group some friends and I had started a long time ago, which is apparently still going!) So it was a good meeting and I now recommend everybody should walk everywhere and let God bless you with health and friendship.

Later, through the city, and down St.Kilda Rd, I stopped to ask a Mr.Whippy van man the location of Catani Gardens (if those guys don't know where a park is then no one would). He told me it was next to St.Kilda pier and I realized it was a lot further than I though and by the time I got there the lunch would be long over, so I headed back to the steps. I stopped in the Art Gallery briefly to look at the display of how sneakers changed over the last 20 years. They all looked pretty much the same to me. (That is a subtle comment indicating how I am currently seeing things more as functional than fashionable.)

I caught up with Dougy, who was in great agony from the sunburn he got from sitting around drinking the last few days without a top on. "I'm going to have to kill my self" he kept saying (as a way to stop the pain). After chatting to him a bit I told him to stay seated on the steps while I went to McDonalds and got a cup of iced water and some towelettes. I came back and soaked the towelettes with the water and dabbed his back with them. After a while he gave no response that it was helpful, or not, so I pulled out an ice block and ran it slowly over his lobster red back. This time I noticed he was holding his forearm in one hand while the other kept scrunching into a fist. I realized he was just taking the pain of the ice block, which he told me later was worse than the sunburn. So I went back to the soaked paper towels for a while as the cops came by to chat with him about his sunburn, before they asked him to come along with them to chat about it some place else. So I am not sure whether the effect of my treatment was positive, although I had tried. Later I wondered whether or not I should have asked him if he wanted to pray about the pain, perhaps next time.

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