"I preached to gangs on the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx - and miracles began to happen." David Wilkerson
Living on the streets taught me how to survive. I learned to fight - to get my needs met.
I rarely had money. When I did - I spent most of it on drugs. A few social workers went to bat for me - arranged to get me bus tickets, food and even clothes. And there was a guy who worked in the kitchen of this Greek restaurant. I'd go see him usually after suppertime. He always had packages of leftover food for me and bones for my dog. When it got really cold out, I went to this downtown shop and the owners let me sleep in the back of their store.
Surviving. I got really good at it. I figured things out - how to live - how to get by....How to fight for what I needed.
But there were things about living on the street that was too hard - things that nearly broke me - the creeps, the jerks, the slimy individuals who wanted to take advantage of anyone vulnerable. I felt like prey to them - an animal being stalked - I kept my distance but sometimes, in my naivity, I trusted the sleekness of their words......
I used to go to this downtown Christian bookstore to shoot up.Their bathroom was clean and they never hasseled me. They were kind and always let me use their washroom. I wonder if they prayed for me. I bet they did.
A social worker helped me get off the streets. She set me up in my own apartment. She even managed to furnish it. One night I sat on the coach in that apartment wanting to shoot up. I was already pretty stoned. I accidently dropped the lit match. Within seconds the sofa became engulfed in flames. It spread rapidly through that little apartment including all around the doorway.
I sat on the floor stunned - listening to the crackling sounds of the flames and the popping and crashing as things broke from the intense heat. I kept coughing from the overwhelming black smoke filling the room, but I didn't move. I didn't try to get out. I heard a clear voice tell me he knew and I knew so burn baby burn. I kept asking him to tell me what I knew but he just kept repeating he knew and I knew so burn baby burn.
Later - I found out that whole apartment had been gutted by the fire. Completely destroyed. The apartment below and the ones next door were not touched by the flames at all.
Survival. The streets taught me that. Grace. That's what God taught me. I lived because of His grace. I survived the streets, the fire and so many other horrible things. His grace. It went so far down to pull me out.
Survival. I learned to fight on the street. Grace. He taught me love.
The Old Fashion Way, Victorian Times.
6 months ago