Everyday People

15 Mar 2019

Everyone Has a Story to Tell . . .

By |2019-03-15T09:48:30+00:00March 15th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

And everyone has a story to live.

The question is: Where are Dave and his friends going to live?

Now if I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying, “There’s goes the neighborhood!”  Of course, this is referring to “those” folks who are now moving into “our” neighborhood.   And it’s primarily understood to carry a negative implication.  It usually involves those of a lower economic bracket moving into a step or two up from their previous neighborhood.

But how about when the roles are reversed?  How about when some upscale developers come into a much “lower-income” area and build a very, fancy high-rise condo building right across the street from the local MacDonald’s and Uptown Baptist Church?  Well, that’s what’s happening in our part of the Uptown neighborhood.  And as you can see, the developers wish to attract buyers who are ready to “Live Their Stories.”

Nothing wrong with that, right?  Aren’t we all free to prosper and dream and earn the right to purchase a nice condo if we can afford to?  Don’t we all have the right to “live our stories?”  Surely, this sounds good to most of us.  But there is a downside  to this “right.”  How about the man, Dave, standing next to the sign?  Although, he tells me he has a nice “spot” (adequate housing) for now, there’s just no telling where he and so many others are going to live out their stories?

From where I sit, less than 1 block away from this brand-new development, it’s apparent that I’ll be having some “new” neighbors soon.  And they won’t be looking like so many of Uptown’s long-time residents . . . folks like Dave.  But I’ll do my best to adapt because it won’t be impacting me “personally” for the moment.  But I do have to wonder (no, I don’t have to wonder!) how it has already impacted a number of my former neighbors.

So the question is—what story will those folks who have been or will soon be “priced out” of this neighborhood have to tell?  And will there be anyone listening?

Take care,

Chris
22 Feb 2019

MEET KELLY: A HUMAN BEING!

By |2019-02-22T13:38:38+00:00February 22nd, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

WOULD YOU SAY A PRAYER FOR HER?  

I was walking along State St. when I ran into Kelly, a homeless woman, sitting on the sidewalk holding her sign asking for help. I stopped for a minute, and asked her how things were going, how people were treating her.

“Oh, it’s OK,”  she said. “I mean, it’s not like I’m some sort of monster, I’m just a human being who’s having a tough time right now.”

Kelly then went on to tell me that she used to be a medical billing assistant, and that she’d been married, and had her own home. But then in 2016, her husband passed away, and her life started spiraling downwards. Soon after, she couldn’t afford to stay in her home, so she started renting a room.

And then she went into such a deep depression that she couldn’t even keep a “room” over her head.  And then she told me that she was in and out of hospitals for a couple of years.

But now, right now, she was sitting on the State St. sidewalk in downtown Chicago, asking for a little mercy, a little charity, to help her make it through another day. She was hoping to get enough for a room or at least enough to eat, and ride the train all night.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” she said. “I do pray, and it seems like God is the only person that I have right now.”
Kelly then gave me permission to pray for her. Now I’m asking you to say a prayer for Kelly.

And then I would ask you and myself to keep on praying for, and caring for the Kelly’s of our inner cities across America.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris        .
11 Feb 2019

MEET NORVILLE: HE’S A PEOPLE PERSON

By |2019-02-22T13:38:47+00:00February 11th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

AND HE’S A BLESSING TO SO MANY… INCLUDING ME!

Here’s my friend, Norville.  Every now and then we meet in the Aldi’s parking lot.  He’s busy waiting to return the shopping carts that folks have just used to unload their groceries into their cars.  But he’s also happy to assist anyone who would like a little help unloading.

So on this day, Feb. 6, I’d just finished shopping for our shelter–Cornerstone Community Outreach, and I’m pushing my fully loaded cart to my van when I run into Norville.  He’s quick to tell me that he’ll be right over to help me unload my cart as soon as he returns a few carts to their corrals, where he will receive a quarter for each cart.

When he arrives at our van we jump into a quick conversation.  “So you really like helping people, don’t you?” I ask

“Oh, yeah, I really like meeting people,” he says.  “I’m a people person.  And I just enjoy encouraging them,” he says.  “You know, there’s just a lot of good  people in this world.”

“Yeah, that’s true,” I say.

“I mean, I’ve met so many good people right here in the parking lot,” he says. ” I’m talking about so many folks that you wouldn’t expect to have an outstanding point of view and an understanding mentality. And they end up encouraging me.”

“Wow, that’s really nice, isn’t it?” I respond.

“Well you know, Chris, that’s what it’s all about, “he replies. “We just need to be encouraging each other each and every day.  I just figure that if I can’t encourage someone, then what am I good for?”

Norville finishes up helping me load our van, and we bid each other a good day. And I discover a little more about Jesus and how he works… right in the Aldi’s parking lot of Uptown, Chicago.  I’m just thankful for all the “Norvilles” in my life… because I can always use a little encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Chris