Conversations with a homeless guy – 1/7/09

I’ve seen him several times, mainly at the library where he sits in a corner with his own personal computer, the type that comes in a hardshell suitcase, circa 1986. On the Acworth Triathlon he was sitting in the woods at a park table. My husband says he saw him once, holding a big sign that read, “The Fish plays songs by the adulteress Amy Grant.” He rides a bike and once, spying it outside the library, I tossed an orange into the side pack. Everyone needs their Vitamin C!

So today I’m at the park with my friend Jeanette, and our daughters. It’s a good day, cold and blustery, but we’ve got the park to ourselves. Jeanette squints and points to the concrete pavilion behind us, “I think there’s someone over there.” Sure enough, it’s him. I decide to go and speak.

His bike was in parts, scattered on tables. A shoe tossed here and there, a pair of scissors and a bible on the picnic table. He had a beard, wild hair, blue eyes like I’ve never seen on a human without contacts, and he was smelly.

Me:  Hi, I’m Lisa. I’ve seen you at the library. Are you okay, do you need anything?

HG:  Not food or money if that’s what you’re thinking. I have a home, but I can’t go to it because my wife is a legal adulterer.

Me: I’m sorry. (I want to leave now.)

HG: How do I know you?

Me: Uh..I’ve seen you at the library. I put an orange in your backpack.

HG: That was you? I get free food. Are you crying for me? Man, you are soft.”

Me: No, it’s just the wind. I’m nice but I’ve got one leg ready to run. (WHAT?)

HG: I see that you’re married. Is that your child?

Me: Yes.

HG: How can you raise a child in this world? People in the churches dressed like harlots. Look at Christmas, celebrating Jesus and buying kids video games where it’s all murder and sex.

Me: Right! I agree. I go to church. (Please don’t kill me, I’m holy.)

HG: I was raised in the church. I haven’t turned my back on Jesus, I’ve lost everything for Him. I’m standing in front of the church with a sign that says, “Our churches are not brothels!” Where do you go to church?

Me: Stonebridge on the square. (WHY did I tell him? Why?)

HG: Girls go to church dressed like hookers. My wife divorced me and married another man and she continues to go to church on the square in Marietta. They accept her even though we’re still married in the eyes of the Lord. What would your pastor say about that?

Me: He’d be against it?

HG:People say they are against abortion, then vote for abortion. People go to churches and say they are against it, but vote their pocketbook.

Me: I’m VERY prolife. I volunteer at a pregnancy center. (Man I’m glad I’m prolife.)

HG: What does your husband do?

Me: He’s a photographer. He’s a very Godly man.

HG: How can he make a living at that, all the ads are about sex.

Me: Yeah, he doesn’t shoot anything like that. He’s very GODLY. (How can I make shooting Coke executives holy?)

HG: Have you heard of the Amish? You know women are supposed to wear head coverings. 1st Corinthians 11 says, “and every women who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head.” I bet you didn’t even know that.

Me: Uh.. (Why oh why didn’t I wear my hat. I ALWAYS wear a hat when it’s cold.) Well, I think they’re ready to go. I just wanted to say hello. I see you at the library and (stepping slowly backward) I didn’t want to pretend you didn’t exist. I’m sorry for your pain.

Then I walked very fast to where Jeanette and the kids were standing. We must leave now!

In the car as I was driving away, I was praying “LORD, help that man. Release him from any demons. DON’T let him know where I live.”

Later, when I wasn’t so freaked, I wondered why more of us aren’t crazy. What the Bible says vs. what we do. What the church should be and what it is.  No one can tell the Christians from the non-Christians anymore.  Maybe God is sick of us, sitting on a pew on Sundays like we’re some kind of special, while being as worldy as, well..the world. When a church leader says they’re pro-choice, why don’t I get a big sign and march around? Cause I’m not crazy or cause I’m not bold?

I don’t know what sins the dude will answer for one day, but being lukewarm won’t be one of them.

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