Coaching, Creativity, and Community
Before heading out to the streets to hand out sandwiches and coffee with my husband and some friends, I knew I needed to have something to give that might bring healing and transformation.
In the book of Acts 19:
“… so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”
Years of listening and spending time on the streets, reading and researching about the reasons and causes, all the whys and how comes of homelessness, left me with knowing that it is a systemic problem. There are many, many organizations and church’s that provide food, as they have for years, but yet the homeless remain.
Going to the streets again yesterday, reopened my eyes to the fact that people have many choices of where to go for a free meal. We were handing out sandwiches, fruit and coffee and the people were commenting on how it was nice to have an afternoon snack because dinner is served at three different locations in that area.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against feeding people in need! But where is the line between providing and enabling? If everything was handed to you that you needed, how compliant or motivated would you be? How motivated as a government official or law-maker would you be if you knew that others were taking care of it, even though it is only a Band-Aid solution.
I also noticed that every person I connected with on the streets had a mental illness or an addiction, or very likely both. I keep reading in papers and seeing in the news lately that our mental health system has reached an epidemic level. The police are the most recent of groups forming to advocate for change to our mental health system. The police are on the front lines seeing people continuously fall through the cracks or put in prison, which is the modern-day insane asylum.
Back to my painting which I made using acrylic paints and stencils to add in symbols and colours. I prayed over the painting asking for Gods healing and transforming power to work through it and touch lives. I wrote a word of encouragement on the back of each card, something a little different on each one. I asked God that each piece of this painting would go to someone in need of a word, and that He would highlight the specific people for me.
Some of the pieces I still have, carrying them around in my jacket pocket. I wonder who will get them?