I received an email today from one of my homeless friends. I have known him about 6 years... he is basically a vagabond travelling from place to place. He is about 27 years old and schizophrenic. I REALLY loved what he said today because he hasn't judged his situation... he sees God working in his life and is OK with his situation, no matter how difficult it is...
Perhaps we should be embarrassed at how we, who "have more" than he does, are NOT satisfied with our situation that God has given us. We could have "unimaginable wealth spiritually" but we are too caught up with what we don't have.
This story is a PERFECT Example why I LOVE the homeless. They live day by day accepting the goodness that comes their way from God. We should learn from them!
OK... What is going on here???!!!
Yesterday afternoon (Friday), I went down to visit my friend "Alex" at the crisis home and he is doing well. THANK YOU to everyone who has sent your well wishes and kind thoughts his way!!! Earlier in the week I visited him, and I shared the story about finding another one of my homeless friends that I was worried about in a neighborhood I have never been in. (See "A Needle in a Haystack" Part 1.)
With all this stuff going on in my life, I have been thinking about how fortunate I am to have my life and all the goodness and blessings I have. I have been thinking a lot about all these homeless friends of mine (hundreds over the years) and how much I truly love them. So many non-homeless people "miss out" because they are afraid of the homeless and bypass potentially WONDERFUL friends with HUGE hearts!!! All they need is to be treated with DIGNITY, RESPECT and LOVE and you will have a friend for life!
One friend in particular, Ryan, was 17 or 18 when I first met him. He was the smartest of all the kids out there on the street and he always made sure everyone else ate before he did. He was sort of a "Guardian Angel" for all his other street friends. Ryan is schizophrenic and what is called a "Tweeker"... a crystal meth addict. He loved music, so I gave him a guitar which he would play night and day to support himself. Over the two years I knew him, he declined rapidly and his paranoia became pretty bad mostly due to his drug addiction. One day he disappeared and it has been 4 years since I have seen him. I have asked the street gang off and on if any of them have heard from him, and I would get news once in awhile about what was going on with him. I guess he went to the police in the town I knew him in (Oceanside) and he "narked" about all of the various drug dealers in the city. He was instrumental in cleaning up a lot of the drug traffic that was going on. BUT, when you are a nark, your life is in danger, so he had to leave. He went to Oregon to his father's place for a little bit, but eventually moved to San Diego which is about 45 minutes from Oceanside.
Ryan will always be one of my favorite street friends because of the good he has done for so many people. It is hard to see because he has such a good heart and is so thoughtful when it comes to OTHER people, but he just can't seem to love HIMSELF enough to get clean. BUMMER! I have thought so much about him all this week after finding my other friend Joey.
So, after my visit with Alex yesterday, I was driving home and decided to go back to the same restaurant I had stopped in earlier in the week where I bumped into Joey. As I'm driving up trying to find a parking place, I look ahead on the corner and THERE WAS RYAN!!! It had been 4 years since I had seen him, but I recognized him IMMEDIATELY!!! I honked my horn and waved to him to come over and I said, "Hey Ryan, it's Tall Paul from Oceanside... Remember me?" He said, "Holy Sh#T!!! PAUL... How's it going... Oh My God... I can't believe it!!!" Well... That made two of us!!! Here I was in this neighborhood that I had only been in once before and here I find ANOTHER NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK!!!
I found a parking spot and we talked for about an hour and a half. He looked really good, but he is still homeless. Still on drugs. Now he is selling drugs. I told him how much I missed him and how I always admired how he took care of everyone out there on the streets and how I always thought that he had so much potential to do good. I told him that I loved him and that my other friends Jessie and Cindy also love and believe in him. I KNOW I was touching him in a long forgotten way... the streets are hard and he needed to hear that there are people still out there that believe in him! I gave him my number and invited him to go with me sometime to my camper that I keep out in the desert. I think he needs to get away and get some fresh air and really think things over about life. He said he is so tired of all the drugs and the way of life and he wants to stop someday soon. He may never stop, but at least I KNOW that HE KNOWS now that I LOVE HIM and BELIEVE IN HIM. I feel good because I WASN'T AFRAID to tell him how I was feeling. He may never be ready to get help, but at least he knows without a doubt that he is LOVED, and that's all that matters. He has someone now to turn to if and when he is ready to get help.
How often do you tell your family and friends just how much you LOVE and BELIEVE in them???!!! We forget how important this is... we all need to hear this so don't be afraid to tell them how you think TODAY!!!
I don't know what it is about that restaurant in that little neighborhood that God and the Angels keep sending me to, but I'm going to keep going back whenever I'm in the neighborhood!!! MIRACLES have happened this week there... The MIRACLE of Joey and the Miracle of Ryan. Both "Tweeker" Drug Addicts. Both homeless. Both have no direction in life. BOTH AMAZING, LOVING, SELFLESS PEOPLE Who I am PROUD to call my FRIENDS!!!
Thank you God for the Gift that these friends are to me!!!
Have you ever tried to find a "Needle in a Haystack???!!!"
I have a very good friend, "Joey", who is 19 years old and homeless (most of the time). I care for him a great deal because he has such a great heart and he is truly a fascinating person to hang around. He wants to make a difference in this life, but he is sort of lost in the typical street-kid waste your time routine. He is a GENIUS and an "Indigo Child" in my opinion. (Do a search on the web if you don't know what an Indigo Child is). I usually hear from him once or twice a month, but I haven't heard from him in about 8 months or so. Needless to say, I have been VERY WORRIED about him! He moved out of the area, but not too terribly far away that we couldn't meet up once in awhile or at least get a phone call or email from him.
SO... Joey has been on my mind a great deal lately, most likely because of all the time I have been spending with my friend Alex who is trying to get into a drug rehab program and who is currently in the "Crisis Home." Joey is also a drug user/addict. I emailed him about a month ago and he didn't respond. Yesterday I emailed him again, and still no response. We've never had an argument, so he couldn't be mad at me, so what the heck??? Where did he dissappear to???!!! Joey is my "Needle in the Haystack."
Tonight I went to visit Alex at the crisis home and he is doing GREAT!!! I spent 1.5 hours with him without one argument or any stress... A TRUE RECORD!!! WOW.
So, afterwards I had an inspiration to leave my normal route home, and I went to dinner in San Diego and went to a bookstore to browse around. I parked about 2 blocks away from the bookstore, so I had a nice little walk to get some fresh air. As I'm walking out of the bookstore, guess who is walking by... JOEY!!! WOW again!!! He saw me and gave me a big hug... he says he lost my number and has been thinking about me. He hadn't checked his email in a long time (kinda hard to do when you're homeless because you have to go to the library usually). I gave him my number and we're going to meet up again real soon.
According to Yahoo... San Diego has a population of 1.2 million people (http://sg.travel.yahoo.com/guide/americas/usa/san_diego/). What are the chances that I would bump into Joey tonight???!!! I TOTALLY BELIEVE that the Angels brought us together. THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES... These are all carefully orchestrated moves that the Angels have planned out. Their strategy is PERFECT! Our job is to cooperate with it. I NEVER, EVER eat in San Diego in the area I was driving through. I HAVE NEVER met Joey in that part of town... we have always met in my area which is 30 miles away. If I hadn't walked to the bookstore and left when I did, I would have never bumped into Joey.
Pinch Me... I can hardly believe how AWESOME the Angels are to me!!! I feel SO MUCH BETTER now that I know that Joey is OK!!! YIPPY!!!
(Read PART 2 of this story)