It's a hard thing to come home to an empty apartment after experiencing what I experience in Kensington some days.
Until you've been there, and by "there" I mean that section of Philadelphia that is 30 minutes away from us in Delaware County, you will never really understand what it's like to listen to and sing praise songs through my humble sound system with another Ministry person on the street as we look across a gathering of men and women who I know by name as they inject and sleep and smoke and dream of, in one particular case, heading to Kirkbride tomorrow morning so is to begin their detox and rehab and all new life.
As this scene was playing out, we were under the El, the elevated train line which runs down Kensington Avenue. On occasion, the sound of the train drowned out the playing of the praise music but that did not seem to matter.
At one point I looked down the street as the praise music continued and I saw men and women who I know by name and story and others who I do not. I saw one man to whom I had provided Narcan months ago as he was assisting a woman with her injection into her neck. I turned my head to the right and looked down the street a little bit and saw the XXX video store which may or may not have been open at that moment. And the praise music continued.
I thought of how incredibly blessed I am to be permitted into the lives of these men and women who, for the most part, are not actually from Kensington. Almost everybody within eyesight of where this praise music was being played is from some other County and on occasion some other state.
For at least half an hour of this praise music time, I found myself sitting on the back of my open trunk with my feet propped up on my water cooler which had long since run out of its water as if the entire arrangement was my backyard lounge chair. The other Ministry person and I chose songs and played them through YouTube and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as various men and women came up, some to join us for a little bit, and others to ask for water or bananas or song sheets.
I'm sharing all this with you as I sit here in my living room in my humble apartment here in Concordville in hopes that maybe somebody in this area will be inspired and choose to become involved and maybe, just maybe, actually meet a neighbor with whom you went to high school here in Garnet Valley or with whom you have been involved in some group here in Glen Mills, or with whom you have shared some moments in Chester Heights.
If it seems to you that I am rambling on nonsensically it's because I don't know what else to say to inspire you to get involved with these men and women who are not they but rather extensions of us. I can think of no place that I would rather be than on the streets of Kensington where life is real and love and care for each individual is thoroughly obvious and abundant.
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