It was a beautiful Sunday morning in San Diego’s North Balboa Park. I parked my car and began assembling the angel packs from my trunk when I realized it would be easier to do so using the portable table I brought.
So I set up the table and continued assembling the angel packs. Not one minute passed when I looked up and saw several homeless men walking toward me from the encampments on the south edge of the park. The encampments were barely visible from where I was standing so I was surprised to see so many of them. You might say I was spotted.
The men where polite and we even talked briefly though I quickly became aware of their street smarts and penchant for survival.
Once I ran out of angel packs I began walking the park with More Than a Carpenter tracts. I spoke with young, old, gay and straight. Everyone was polite and considered what I had to say. So polite that for a moment I was encouraged.
Then I began observing the homeless men living in the encampments and it soon became apparent that their was a social and political order among them. One man in particular was loud and vulgar and made sure those who were not trusted among them did not get close to their camp. He even chased one man off with a profanity laced rant. I have to be honest, this reminder of the darkness and evil that is present in the world was discouraging.
But it was then the Lord spoke to me a profound truth regarding this mission. I am called to be there no matter the reception and/or response. The mission is about my obedience to His greater plan for my life and the City of San Diego and not about personal satisfaction. Even if no one was willing to listen and if no perceived progress was being made I was still called to be there.
However, I have faith and am sincerely filled with hope that establishing a consistent gospel centered presence will bear much fruit for kingdom of heaven.
Next week I will set up a full fledge table with coffee and bagels in hopes of getting to know the locals.