Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Last night was bitter cold under the bridge! I want to say it was the coldest night ever, but I tend to forget the other cold nights. Every part of my body hurt, I was so cold. I just cannot imagine the people we serve down there on Wednesday night, sleeping outdoors. I watched many of them trudge away into the darkness, carrying their "stuff" and wondered why there are so many people who live on the street.
I also started laughing to myself, because I remembered the nights in the summer that were so hot I could hardly breathe. It is also much more smelly on a summer night. Am I never satisfied? At least I have a clean bed in which to sleep!
When I was a little girl in the 1940's there were lots of what we called hobos, but most of them were on the road looking for work. I remember my Mother fixing a plate for someone and them sitting on the steps at the back door eating. They were always so grateful.
As we were packing up to leave last night, a man came up to John Thomas and our prayer man, Sam. The man was drunk. He asked for help. Sam told him that they couldn't help him but knew someone who could: Jesus. He said he knew all about Jesus because he had gone to Bible College. According to him, Jesus had not helped him. Sam said, well that's the only person who can help you. John boy started talking to him and he started crying. He said that he couldn't get free of the "booze." John boy told him he would pray that he would lose the desire for it and he prayed right then. We will continue to pray.
One of the reasons there are so many homeless is addiction. Many do not believe they can get better. They want a quick fix. They won't look to the only one who is able to fix them. If they do go into a recovery facility, they are usually back on the street after a month, and the cycle starts again.
I am sure that some of the hobos of my youth had an alcohol problem as well, but they were also trying to find work. I could get on a soap box about this, because a lot of the homeless are young and healthy.
My prayer daily is for revival in our city, and I pray it starts in our homeless community.