Street Love

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine has been recognized by the Missouri Senate for outstanding civil service in the state of Missouri.

On the streets the help we offered each other might seem odd to folks on the outside looking in. But on the streets, we were everything to one another.

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.” – Helen Keller

 

We all know the feeling of being worn down as our body fights off a common cold or the flu. All you want to do is the very thing you need to do, which is rest. We know that the best thing we can do is stay in our nice comfy beds, curled up under the blankets until our symptoms pass.

But what if you didn’t have a bed? Or a roof to sleep under? What if, when winter hit, you didn’t have so much as a winter coat or blanket? That pesky common cold now becomes a huge fight for your life.

Even in the worst of circumstances, we instinctively seek out comfort. Have you ever thought of where a homeless person goes when they are fighting for their life in this way?

As you journey with me through this next story, put yourself in my shoes. Allow yourself to feel what I felt.

Matthew 25:34-36 Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.

 

winter day

Men and women who survive life on the streets share a bond like no other. This bond is an unspoken connection, commitment, respect, and love for each other that isn’t the same as the relationships we build outside of the life. The help we once offered each other out on the streets looked very different from what those outside of the life might understand.

The help we offered might look more like a hit of dope if someone was beaten or raped, or a shared sandwich. Or it might even look like a ride in a car or a night’s sleep in a hotel room to shower, if one of us had access to such a rare thing. Sometimes we watched over one another as we slept, particularly if we were sleeping outdoors or in an empty building. Sometimes we shared quarters for the dryers in the laundromat to get warm or dry off our clothes. I could go on. On the streets we had each other’s backs, because no one else in the world did…

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

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