Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I was coming out of the library recently when a voice said "hi Dave!" I turned around to see a fellow named Robbie on the bench in front of the building. Robbie attends The Gathering Place community meal sponsored by local churches. I hadn't met him before the dinners but he is always friendly and says hello with a smile. Since we began the meals I see a number of regulars in the downtown and as with Robbie there is often the opportunity to have a couple of minutes of chit-chat. Another guy, Robert, runs across the street shouting my name and invariably everyone around stops to look!

Just before I went on vacation I was on Temperance street when I saw another attender, Joanie, sitting on the curb with a young woman hovering over her. Joanie had fallen and cut her arm and the sweet young woman was the proprietor of a hair dressing salon nearby. She explained later that she knows a number of these folks because they drop in on cold days to warm up. Sort of "eight chairs, lots of waiting." Joanie was agitated because she wasn't supposed to be away from her group home and she was afraid she'd get in trouble, but we eventually got her to the hospital to get cleaned up.

I am grateful for The Gathering Place because invisible people in our community have become visible to me. They have names and personalities and stories that are unique to them. Like the rest of us.

So maybe this is why Jesus spent so much time just hanging out with folk around meal tables. It humanizes us and connects us to the divine, all at once.


1 comment:

IanD said...

I agree. "Humanizing" these issues is what the Gathering Place has done for me (see last posting.)

Funny how we've been in sync with this for two days!