Sunday, April 30

An Adventure in the City

My kids and I like to go on "adventures" now and then. We'll walk down to the bus stop and hop on Tri-met's number 8 that takes us down to the Convention Center MAX stop. Sometimes we'll head out towards Grammy's in Gresham or head the other direction to meet Allan near his work. It is always truly an adventure to take pre-schoolers on public transport, but I like exposing them to our city and the cool cultures all around us that often converge in one vehicle.

Yesterday's adventure definitely exposed us to some of our city's..."culture". A lady, let's call her "Shelly", got on a few stops after we did. She had the look of a hard life - aged and abused beyond her years. She sat across from us next to a guy, we'll call "Greg", an almost blind guy with a guide dog, whom Shelly obviously knew, but hadn't seen, for some time. The loud conversation between them went to how she recently had some tooth problems. Within minutes they were making a deal for Greg to buy Vicodin, presumably given for tooth pain, from Shelly. They make their arrangements (apparently about $1.50 per pill), and she goes to sit farther back in the bus with her fiancee. They continue their loud conversation down the length of the bus about Shelly's previous boyfriend who, at last meeting, nearly beat her to death. Greg then picks up a conversation with "Jack", a hippie-type playing his guitar (very well, I might add), sitting next to him. Jack shows Greg the pills he bought earlier in the day from a different vendor, so Greg, who obviously has studied pharmaceuticals extensively, informs Jack of the details regarding Jack's latest purchase (Greg declares himself a "light weight" and prefers Vicodin, but he's sure Jack will do well with his heavier ones).

I was really struck by this encounter. At first I was just amazed at the blatant nature of their behavior. They were dealing and comparing their prescription drugs three feet in front of me and my little children and within earshot of the entire bus, including the bus driver. Then I was struck by the reality. This is life for these dear people. It's all about numbing the pain of whatever life circumstances have gotten them on that bus on that day.

I walked away from our adventure with one repeating thought: They don't know. I just keep coming back to that thought throughout the rest of the day: They don't know. So many people we see in this city don't the Truth. The revealing, liberating, passionate, loving Truth, who is Jesus Christ. I don't know what to do with that tonight, but to pray for them - and for me - to know and believe and live the Truth.


Amanda Peterson said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

KMiV said...

Amen, we are called to help these people. God has a heart for them and so should we.


Jason Hill said...

I am stumped as to what tools I would need to even *start* affecting the lives of folks like this. And the shuddering realization is: they are everywhere. My sanitized version of the world just shields me from them most of the time.

I'm praying that the exposure you are giving your kids will inspire them. That God will open their eyes to the hurting living all around us. And that He will use them to touch their lives.

Sarah Megan said...

Sooooo I talked to another one of the interns today on instant messenger. Chelsea invited me to be her friend on Facebook (what in the heck did we do without these blogs and such?) Im really excited we seem kinda alike... can summer just get here already?!?!?!