Monday, February 23, 2015

In the words of Vince Lombardi . . .

"What the hell is going on out there!?!?"

We have a young guy who showed up looking for help awhile ago.  I let him stay in the church while I was here, found a little food for him, and generally didn't try to kick him out.

He and I have developed a sort of relationship in which, among other things, he knows this is a safe place.

About a week ago, he began telling me how the cops were following him and harassing him.  The way cops have been behaving around the country lately, this wouldn't surprise me.  But then it moved from there to being constantly followed, believing that they were trying to arrest him through entrapment because he walked by a school bus, and having to hide out in the woods to avoid the helicopters.

On Ash Wednesday there was a homeless looking guy who showed up in the parish hall around 11:30 or so.  I made a point to introduce myself to him and let him know he was welcome to stay.  He ended up coming to service, and at both the imposition of ashes and at Communion he came forward in tears.

After service he said he wanted to talk with me, so we went into the chapel.  He talked, I listened ... for close to an hour.  During that time I heard that the only reason he was born was because his dad wanted to train someone in the drug/criminal family business.  How his dad beat him if he didn't do the job right.  How he learned to operate on dogs in order to insert plastic bags full of drugs into them and stitch them up again so they could run drugs.  How he can't swallow pills because he chokes on them, but that he's addicted to pills and will empty a whole bottle in two days.

"I'm not a bad human being," he said, "I'm just a horrible person."

And yesterday after services, another homeless looking guy came in because he needed "to be around holy people."  I told him he could stay as long as I was there.  At some point he came into my office after everyone had gone home, wanting to talk.  He talked .... I listened.

I listened to how he had gotten himself involved with evil people and didn't know how to get out of it.  How they were planning some big major evil event.  How they had a girl that they prostituted out to get their money.  How they were going to pin all this on him.  How they were going to kill him if they knew he was talking to anyone.  How the FBI was tailing him.  How the FBI tried to get him to talk to an informant to get information about the gang.  How the cops wanted him to provide information.  How the cops were going to kill him if he didn't provide that information.

"So," I said, "you're telling me that you honestly think you are going to die no matter what you do."
"That's right.  Would you pray for me?"

So I prayed.

"I feel better now.  Thanks."  And off he went.

So . . . How is your Lent going?


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