As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
David and Autumn, The Tracks and Their Fruit
Three days later, with the fruit having been stored in my fridge, today about 7:00pm, I was driving in the same area and had just passed the bridge seen in the above video. I looked down B Street and there they were, dashing toward me and heading to the area featured in this video. I pulled my car over to the side of the street and hopped out, stepping onto the old red cobblestone/brick road. I grabbed my two oranges and two grapefruit that I had specifically packaged for this heroin addicted married couple and called out to them as they began to cross East Gurney Street at this intersection.
David looked a bit panicked as if he had a very important appointment and briskly proceeded across the street. Autumn slowed down and looked a bit shocked as I handed her the clear plastic bag with the fruit I'd asked them about three days earlier. She gladly accepted it and another copy of Urban Hope's weekly schedule. "I'll be back Tuesday and I'll look for you two then." I said. She said "OK. See you then." as she took a drag from the cigarette butt (There was no actual cigarette left.) in her mouth. I turned and stepped back into my car as a few young adults continued their game of catch in the street 20 feet in front of me.
Nice story... What makes it especially noteworthy to me is that I don't typically take that route home. I always go a route one block off of Gurney Street. Add my conversation with Ed Lewis and my drive with one of the families of Urban Hope into the timing of this experience with David and Autumn and I can clearly see God's hand arranging the timing of meeting them right at the entrance of the footpath leading down to to "The Tracks' - the bullseye of the drug epidemic in Kensington, in Philadelphia and, sadly, the entire east coast of our nation.
Our Lord has given me an incredible sense of peace as I've been doing what I'm doing. I don't see adicts. I see human beings, men and women made in the image of God who for reasons of their own have wound up as they have. I know there is hope for each one of them too. Urban Hope and the recovery ministry led by my friends Rick and Brenda Cartagena have proven to me that there is not one person on the face of this earth who is beyond healing regardless of their situation. That healing can only be found in Christ.
I encourage you to visit Urban Hope and to support its mission.