Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday 1st March

Summer is finished and things begin to get a little colder. There only needs to be a small change in temperature to make a huge difference in being comfortable sleeping rough (no sleeping bag) and it being intolerable. I'm constantly watching the weather reports for the nightly minimum forecasts (15Degrees+ is great, 11 to 15Degs is a struggle and anything 10Degs or less is 'find warmth or no sleep..'), although one person told me they slept under a bridge in Canada when it was -30 Degrees.. I don't know how!

The other night someone told me they were trying to sleep in the bushes outside a corporate building, but it was to cold and wet to sleep. He was pleased when the security guards came around and told him to move on. He asked them to call the police. Then he took a swing at them and deliberately missed and fell to the ground. Then he told the guards to tell the police he had attempted to attack them but drunkenly fallen over. The guards agreed and the police came and took him away and locked him up for the night. The guy was happy as he now had a nice warm cell to sleep in until the morning.

I had started this journey on the 10th Dec 06 and it was approaching the 3 months mark. It's been a significant amount of time and now that summer was over it was time again to think about whether to continue on or wrap it up. I was still learning new things every day but to go beyond three months was to make a considerable commitment, probably for the rest of the year.. I was confident this was where I was supposed to be for the moment but I wanted a clearer indication from God as for a longer term indication. What I decided was that I would fast for the first ten days of March, that would also be the last ten days of my first three months out here. This would serve to raise the issue to a higher level in my thinking and prayer with God. Remembering that an issue on the back of my mind can be just as much a prayer as saying some words out loud. The odd thing was, I also decided to make the fast an abstinence from washing, as well as food. I don't know why but the idea was there, strong, and I couldn't see a reason not to try it out. Being smelly and unclean is a physical state that a few street people go far below the level most people keep themselves at. There is no logical reason of limitation for being aromatic and unclean, as there are number of charity services that offer showers and washing machines at no cost. It must be a choice to be that way? A reflection of peoples' self worth? I wasn't sure. So no eating or washing and, as with most of my ideas, I will try it out and discover the implications and lessons (and hopefully the spirituality) as I go along.

In the evening I caught up with BJ again and he said he was still interested in coming to Alpha next Wednesday night. While we were waiting for the food van, I talked to another teenage kid, who was interested in my 24hr Church idea and had a number of fundraising ideas to discuss. I also offered him an Alpha invitation and he said he might come along.

After we got back from the van the crew, and a lot of others, were all sitting around drinking and singing songs, as one guy had a guitar and harmonica with him. It was like one of those 'men in the bush sitting around a campfire' nights. A jamboree, but in the heart of the city (and with no fire). Things were getting a bit rowdy when Morgan, sitting next to me, said "this might be a bit above your head, but you're safe here, understand, we're all family", although I was pretty cool with it all. But it's good to keep caution at the back of your mind, so I stay alert.

Dougy was wasted and I asked him if he wanted to go home, and taking the suggestion he got up and I went to help him as he stumbled away. Just as we walked off the cops arrived to talk to everyone else. I pointed out the cops to Dougy, and what a good decision he had made to leave, and he was ecstatic that he had avoided them and started to 'stumble jog' down the hill towards the tram stop, in case the cops saw him. That was until he saw a couple of scantily clad women and stopped to say hello, in the way only he does.. ie 'Hello ladies, wanna root?' It always draws a laugh from those around and often even the cops have a chuckle, it's more of an attention seeking act than an actual proposition. I tugged on his arm and mentioned the cops again, but that primary motivator had no more effect as it had been replaced by another, and there only seemed room for one. I finally pulled him away and then got him home.

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