Friday, January 24, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 26

   And now Dameon is gone from the Mission. I heard something about sneaking 6 pies up to the dorm and everyone knows no food is allowed on the third floor. Too great of a chance for cockroaches in the cramped living spaces, so you just don't do it. Now I'm hearing blame running around about so and so, instead of the ones just admitting guilt. If they hadn't been playing with the rules, none of this would have happened. This isn't third grade, it is an adult Bible program, grow up already.
   Here at the Mission we get a lot of guests and volunteers, some of them being the Amish. Now, I couldn't live that life, I like cars and computers too much, but I do admire them. It might be easier to stay on the right path if you have that many less temptations fed straight into my house. The fresh air of the country sounds so nice right now compared to the stuff that's been exhaled by the guys near me.
   I've mentioned the guys singing before and there is another part that I find fascinating. we might finish a song before class and a person will pray us in and instead of moving on to the next thing, one guy will sing the chorus once again. Then another will join in, and it builds till the whole  room is echoing with this encore performance.
   (Hmmmm... writing this 1/22/14. I have stuff in my notes that I really have to think about putting out in the public eye.)
   As I sit writing this on my bunk in dorm 3026, the sun is going down to my left and the steady stream of cars on the raised Dan Ryan expressway is causing the light to flicker. When you don't have a TV distracting you, you see a lot more sun events and learn to appreciate them more.
   The body is just a support system for the living soul. In other news, Dameon is back, things have been forgiven. In my workouts I've cut back to just 15 minutes at 3.3 MPH. I'll do this for a week, the step up to 20 minutes.  My support systems was worse off then I thought. I take notes from class and do some memorization on the treadmill. They have some really nice equipment that had been donated here, and the view as you walk is looking north at the Chicago Loop.
   Oh, I didn't get baptised the other day as it was only 51 degrees and the waves in lake Michigan where over 5 foot! I saw guys surfing out there, which I didn't even know you could do that here. The break water is made up of big chunky boulders and the waves where hitting between them so hard that they where sending up geysers of water at least 20 feet high! In other spots the water was hitting a sea wall like a chain explosion in series for hundreds of feet long. We decided to postpone it all for a week. I did enjoy getting out of the mission and met a bunch of new people. The trees at promontory point park all seem to have their branches pushed to one side from the constant south east winds. Across the road is the Museum of Science and industry... such a reminder of my childhood, the field trips we used to take there. I miss those days.
   On the drive down, around 3500 south, we saw a 6 point buck feeding on the green way by the railroad. It was on the small size, but still shocking for me to see this far into the Chicago maze of metal and men. To the others in the van, having lived in the city so long, it's almost like the deer didn't even register to them at all.
   The weather has gone from decent to freezing so now we have an influx of new guys to the program that someone refereed to as the 'old and cold'. It used to be there was a lot of grey areas in society, jobs you could get that didn't demand constant perfection. Kind of like the old Mom and Pop stores everyone misses now that had the quaint flaws, you now have a bunch of soulless McDonalds to choose from.
   Twice now I have been part of a very powerful prayer circle. The first time a guy came into the classroom on the verge of tears asking us to pray for his baby sister. As he explained what was going on, you could feel the emotion in his voice. We listened to him as other guys consoled him and yelled out "it's ok brother", "we are with you". Sitting near him I felt compelled to reach out and grab his hand... and presently felt other hands on my back... a reinforcing chain formed like a web of connectedness across the room to support him. Wow! The next time happened in the auditorium, when I guy stood up in class to tell of how God has been good to him, he related how much he misses the kids he hadn't seen in so long due to his drug usage. This time I was on the outer edges of the circle of concerned brothers reaching in, heads bowed in prayer. In a world of cols selfishness, these men came from a hundred points on a compass, let down all the walls of street tough and humbled themselves before God to help a man they may have never met.
   Yes, I have seen miracles.

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