Several years ago a friend and I went out several nights a week with food, warm clothes and toiletries to minister to the about then 100 homeless people in our city. We knew many of them by name, knew some of their stories and what the factors were that led them to life on the street. It was a hearbreaking experience with just enough hope and humanity to make it bearable. So much despair. So much pain.
From there I went on to cook in a shelter for men. It was quite an adventure and I had many delightful and hilarious experiences there. ( I share about this in more detail on the cooking page of the blog.) I tried to write a sitcom about that experience when I quit working there, but I didn’t enjoy the process. If you know someone who writes screenplays I have a great pitch.
One of the take-aways I found from working there was that the line dividing the well-heeled and the down-at-the -heels is not as clear as some might think. Those groups have more in common than either would admit. The clients at the shelter were more aware of their brokenness and more likeable in their humility and transparency.
This poem came out of my observations during those years.
Hide and Seek
He is hiding from the addict and He's crying, "Try to find me," And He's hiding from the hooker looking for another john. He is hiding in the city where the streets run red with shame. He is hiding in the garbage with the fetus with no name. He's hiding in the squalor of the squat where children weep. He's hiding in the lullaby they shoot to get to sleep. He's hiding in the cocaine, He's hiding in the crack, and his blood is crying softly, "Try to find me." He’s hiding in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine, in the neat and shiny places where the chaos isn't seen. In the halls of power and wealth where, “We're doing just fine thanks,” He is hiding, He is hiding He is hiding in their ranks. And the substitutes can't cut it - they are counterfeits and lies for the love that constant cries "Try to find me." But his ear is finely tuned for just one cry, “ I'm lost.” and He will find you, He will find you no matter what the cost. Luke 15: 4&5