Please Know...

As I come to know the men and women of Kensington, specifically the homeless and addicted, their stories become increasingly sensitive and personal. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist in regard to these fine people. Names are rarely their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Addiction and Homelessness Knows the Suburban Intersection of Concord and Cheyney Roads in Glen Mills. Pa.

This past Sunday I sat on the sidewalk under the Frankford Avenue Bridge.  I sat there with four women and one man.  One of the women was unconscious, breathing well and with a good color tone so we knew she was not in danger.  She was going to be in pain though after waking up from her one leg and opposite arm laying under her in the most unnatural of positions. 

One of these women, Melanie, is my neighbor from Aston, Pa.  Once I realized that a few weeks ago, I've made it a point to check in with her every visit to be sure she's OK.[1]  On this visit, we had a chance to talk more than ever.  We talked about Concord Road, the main road that connects her Aston with my Glen Mills.  I asked her if she was familiar with the intersection of Concord Road and Cheyney Road.  She knew it well.

I asked her if she recalled the church up on the hill near that intersection.  She knew it well as well.  I told her that I grew up at that church, not simply as a member but that my Dad had been the priest there.  I could see in her eyes that her Roman Catholic orientation to Christian life was a bit confused to hear that "My Dad was the priest there."  I explained that this was an Episcopal Church.  She smiled.

This church has been known as Saint John's for over 300 years.  I think I'm right in saying that this community of Christian believers was 75 years old when George Washington and Troupes marched past it on the way to Chadds Ford.

Those of us who live in the suburbs have a bad habit of thinking that the issue of addiction and homelessness in Kensington is a Kensington issue and not a suburban issue.  Melanie provides all of us with a clear example of how wrong that thinking is and urges us to consider how we, the churches of the suburbs, should respond.

As the City of Brotherly love prepares to evict our suburban sons and daughters from the relative safety of these bridge communities, I would hope and pray that at least a few suburban churches would step forward and do what needs to be done to let Melanie and her street Family know they are loved in the Name of Jesus. 

Does Anybody Hear Her

She is running
A hundred miles an hour
In the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyons ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older and she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in,
To ride in and save the day
And then walks in her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
A momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Who can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her
If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Who can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

Never even met her
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?

Or does anybody even know she's going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?

He is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction[2]  




[1] If I can find her that is…
[2] Songwriters: John Mark Hall
Does Anybody Hear Her lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

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