“Jesus said, “Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God’s Kingdom.  John came to you showing you the right road.  You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and the whores believed him..  Even when you saw changed lives, you didn’t care enough to change and believe believe him.” Matthew 21:31-32, The Message

I remember when I lived in Minnesota towards the end of the growing season every one trying to give away their vegetables, they were a plenty, and soon would come the cold and snow. 

In the same way God offers us abundance.  When you are an old whore, and someone who is not really understood most of the time like I am, God becomes especially real and present. For God in Jesus is all you have, and he brings you abundance.

Yesterday I was talking to James who is 40. He has HIV, has lived on the streets as a sex worker and drug user since he was 20. He is waiting for housing, but it could be months. He is broken, beaten down. We talked, and we prayed.  We have a long history–he has been abusive towards me, threatening, mean and always difficult, but in the end I have simply become his pastor. I noticed now that he calls me “Father River”, always asks for prayer and usually the Eucharist. And in the Jame’s of the world God’s presence pulls at my heart, his presence challenges me, and drives me.

It is this presence that has lead me to chase my dream of being a priest through the years, and of having a ministry on the streets. Dreams are what you chase and fight for.  Dreams are God’s way of empowering us to fulfillment, and we have to work for them.  In Philippians we read that we are to  “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”, and for me that is what chasing my dream is about–“working out my salvation.” A youth group leader once said that “he has an intense glint in his eye and it scares me.” That glint is my dream, following God no matter the pain or hardship, is all that matters to me. I have a friend who asks me: “Have you ever been in love?” Yep I have, with God, and it is a love that chases me, drives me, and fulfills me.

Embracing God and the this dream has ended my restlessness and my drifting. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: