Please Know...

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.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Tomato Tomoto Connive Survive

Connive
  1. Synonyms: Scheme, Conspire, Plot
  2. to plan secretly to do something, usually something wrong or illegal
  3. to pretend not to know about or do nothing to stop a wrongful or illegal act, thus showing encouragement of or consent to the act


Survive
  1. Synonyms: Stay Alive, Live to Tell the Tale, Continue To Exist
  2. intransitive verb to remain alive or in existence or able to live or function, especially succeed in staying alive when faced with a life-threatening danger
  3. transitive verb to come through a life-threatening experience or a period of difficulty and remain alive, in existence, or in a previous position or life



Since starting this ministry of serving homeless and addicted men and women, I’ve been connived a few times.  In blissful ignorance, I have found myself in some interesting situations of which I’m not going to discuss details other than to say Lisa Ling of CNN would probably give me a high-five and ask me to do a guest appearance on her next show.  Enough said…

The more innocent side of homeless addicted conniving includes taking more clothes than any one person personally needs from donations from people like me and selling those clothes that they’ve just been given for a dollar or two each, selling lucies (individual cigarettes for much more than their per pack price) and more.

It’s not until I merged the words connive and survive that I found peace in knowing that no matter what I do, I will be connived by a few men and women who are desperately trying to survive the hellish trap of homeless drug addiction.

Living Example:

I carry my cell phone at all times.  Sue and Brad, two individuals, have asked me if they can borrow my phone to call a family member.  They each call to say hi to Mom or Dad and just let their loved one know they are sort of ok.

And then there is Brenda who connived me to let her use my cell phone.  I didn’t know that she used my phone to text a “man” and ask him to call her back quickly while she had access to my phone.  A few days later, this man called my phone and asked for Brenda.  I referenced my involvement with Urban Hope so he would not say anything for which he may feel embarrassed in the following moments.  Realizing that I was a “church guy”, he opened up to me and shared his story of recently stopping his out of control drinking.  I praised him for that.

He continued…

“I’ve stopped drinking but I’m still dealing with my sex addiction.  I love a good whore.  Is Brenda there?”

For a brief moment, I forgot I was a church guy and that it’s virtually impossible to put my fist through my cell phone and connect it to this “man’s” face.  Instead, I wrapped up that phone call as quickly as I could think to do so.


Brenda is doing whatever she can do to survive her current life of homeless addiction.  She needs her medicine to keep from getting outrageously sick.  She may or may not be interested at this time in detox and recovery.  As I’ve already mentioned, the system for helping her get into detox is so broken that even if she wants it, renting her body to men such as this is the only way she knows to stay “not sick.”

When I merge in my own head Brenda’s conniving use of my cell phone for an inappropriate cause with her need to keep surviving, I can look at her and not be upset that my phone was used to try to arrange a “date.”  Instead, I can sit on the sidewalk and look at Brenda as I have several times.  This time, I can remind her or tell her for the first time ever heard by her ears that she is a child of God[1], made in the image of God[2], loved and adored by God[3] and worthy of dignity, honor, respect and love by every man and every woman.


Conniving            Surviving              Tomato                Tomoto






[1] Galatians 3:26 New Living Translation (NLT)  For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.                      

[2] Genesis 1:27 New Living Translation (NLT)  So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

[3] John 3:16 New Living Translation (NLT)  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.


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