last night the beautiful Val and Monkman and myself went to a homeless memorial service in town where a bunch of different organisations who work with homeless people, such as project home where will [who runs our alternative seminary classes] works to specifically remember those homeless or previously homeless people who had died in the last year – more than fifty names were read out at one part of the service which took place outside in the gentle rain…

at one point in the service a friend of the simple way played Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Streets of Philadelphia’, one of my favourite and most moving of songs, which has never felt so apt [actually being on the streets of philadelphia] and the words are as follows:

“I was bruised and battered and I couldn’t tell
What I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
I saw my reflection in a window I didn’t know
My own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
Wastin´away
On the streets of philadelphia

I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of philadelphia

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me
Its just you and I my friend
My clothes don’t fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip the skin

The night has fallen, I’m lyin awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of philadelphia.”

[Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bruce+springsteen/streets+of+philadelphia_20025067.html%5D

Jesus said, “There will always be poor people among you” and I think we often receive that in a resigned way – oh well, Jesus said there’s always going to be poor people so why even bother trying to make a difference. But i think He was speaking prophetically, not so much about what has to be the case [we do have enough resources for everyone at this present time] but from a place of knowing the heart of man – because you are greedy and put yourself first and choose your comfort over someone elses need, as a result of that, there will always be poor people among you.

this blog has the word ‘poor’ in the title so it is not going to get as many hits as say my relationship blogs [how can I do MY relationships better?] and the people who made it down this far are most likely not the ones who need to read or be reminded of any of this stuff, except maybe a little, and maybe it’s that little which counts. i know i need to hear it [and i have chosen to live in a poor neighborhood and work with poor people] because there is still a lot that needs to change in my own life.

but standing in the rain last nite with a whole lot of homeless people from all diverse backgrounds [poverty is not racist] and walks of life, and the people who work with them, i was moved once again that we can NOT SETTLE FOR THE WAY THINGS ARE – where those who have keep piling up more and more while those who don’t are left to suffer alone… especially as the church… part of our mandate is to look after the least of these.

“The night has fallen, I’m lyin awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of philadelphia.”