Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 30

   Ugh... yesterday was rough, this will be hard to write. My I.C., Ed, rubbed me the wrong way and started yelling at me which ticked me off, but we worked it out. Just not a good way to start a day. After work I was going to hit the treadmill when I noticed my luggage back was missing. Two guys had left the program and one of them was Scott who had asked me  to look for a luggage bag the day before. He had done some shady stuff before, so in my anger I blamed him. Then, after I had calmed down, I noticed he had left his pillows, blankets and stuff, he was long gone, so I looked through it to see if there was anything I needed. In the pile was a beautiful study Bible! I have been wanting one for a long time, so I grabbed it. The first thing I did was highlight my favorite verse, Ruth 2:12. A while later a new guy showed up... seems his bunk is where Scott was. Poking through the pile on his bunk, he said, "Hey, where is my Bible?" Yeah. My heart sank as he described it. I said I was sorry and reached up to my shelf and got it for him, I felt so bad. I tried to explain it to him, but the fact was, I had screwed up. Things like this have happened all throughout my life, I felt like ending it. My new neighbor that would be living less than 5 feet from me, was a large, solid block of street gang member, was mad at me. I've been around enough actual tigers to know that look when a predator locks in on you as a target. I went down to office C to talk with Pastor Green about it and all the guys in the office told me not to beat myself up over it, but I couldn't help but feel like I had screwed up my life situation once again. Carl, the man in charge of office C, went in and explained it to Pastor Green. I sat on the bench outside, staring down and contemplating what I was going to do... would I have to leave the program, or should I stay and stand the real chance of violence with a guy that has a lot more experience than me at it? Then out walked Pastor Sampson Green, all 6'10", 330+pounds walked out to see me directly. I explained the situation once again, and he simply put his huge hand out to me and said, "Get up." So I stood up weakly and he said, "What you need is a hug." The next thing I knew I was engulfed by this huge mans arms, his chin well over my head, my glasses jammed off to one side! My right arm patted his back, while my left arm just stuck straight out. What an unforgettable site. He let me know he would look into the situation and not to worry, we prayed and I went back upstairs.
   Hard to believe just 24 hours have passed! In the last two days Scott and Eric have left the program and Dave, Joseph, Johnny, mark, big Nate, Vince and Cleveland have moved out of dorm 3026 to 3014. Those where all the main guys I talked with and looked up to, but that is the nature of the program, stay in long enough and you move up and on to other dorms. A nice thing about it is a bunch of lower bunks opened up and I was able to move from that dour situation I had been in to Cleveland's old bunk, 43B. It is a lower bunk across from the clothes rack which means a bit more privacy and not having a guy across from me to bump into all the time and is a little bit quieter area. Noise was always an issue with me in the Mission. I grew up in the quiet suburbs and one of my favorite places to go read my book was in a tree house in our back yards Weeping willow with just the sound of wind outside. These dorms are wall-less communities of many gregarious guys and it only gets actually quiet between 11PM and 4PM. Even then, it is filled with loud snoring and the occasional night terrors from new guys coming down off drug addictions. I made a shelf out of scrap to hang above where my feet to hold my books and it feels nice. Now there is a strange thought... leaving a 6 foot bunk that had felt like home for two and a half months and even stranger to be all excited about another 6 foot bunk. They are the same size as a coffin...
   I am up to 20 minutes at 3.3 Mph on the treadmill and did three sets at 135 pounds on the bench. I am still so weak.
   I've been thinking on the Biblical idea of Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart". I've heard discussion on what each part is and what it means. To me they are simply the top and bottom of the same thing.The top is of God, the spirit, and the bottom is of us, the soul.
   We have two classes a day that are basically sermons, with the early class at 8AM being divided into two halves, the first by Pastor Bower and the second by Pastor Green. Those are Monday through Friday while on Saturday we have Praise and testimony where it's mainly Pastor Phil that preaches and then on Sunday we go to one of 7 churches in the city. Add in the average of 4 stages a week that are also sermons by guest preachers and that comes out to well over 1,000 sermons a year! When you consider that most church goers only go on Sundays, we are getting the equivalent of 21 years of church knowledge concentrated into just a one year period. Amazing and free, you just have to give up everything.

1 comment: