Glimpses of DTES living
May 11, 2012 @ 3:59 pm
The number of times I have heard these questions in my time here is way beyond measure as I daily walk by the corner of Main and Hastings. But one day two other questions where added which I have never heard before.
I was walking in my own thoughts and just wanted to get home in a rush and get on with some stuff when I walked around this corner and again heard the questions begin: Cigarettes? Bud?… But then one of the guys on the corner said, Smiles? Hugs? and with a huge smile he gave me a big hug!
Devotional Times and Forks at Funerals
For some people devotional times come more natural than for others. And for some it is up and down. I personally struggle in this particular area and I therefore much appreciate being in a praying community where it is easier to be aware of the fact that I struggle, and then being accountable to actually spend more intentional time in prayer.
This is in itself a blessing, but today I want to talk about why I now properly would want to be buried with a fork in my hand.
Doing a devotional time I took out a devotional book in my own language and read this story about keeping the fork. It was simply so good that I need to share it with you too, so here goes:
Keep the Fork!
The doctor gave her the message that she had a maximum of three more months to live. She therefore decided to go see the priest and plan all the details of the funeral right away. They decided on which Psalms were to be sung, what Scriptures to be read, and what clothes she would wear.
“And then there is one more very important thing! I want to be buried with a fork in my hand,” she said at the end.
The priest could not conceal his surprise. A fork?
“May I ask why?” he asked cautiously.
“I can explain,” she responded with a smile. “I have been to many different feast and dinner tables in my life and I have always liked those the best where the person who collects the silverware has said, ‘You can keep the fork!’ for then I knew something even better was on its way. Not just ice cream or pudding, but something decent – like pie or similar. I will like people to look at me, lying there in my coffin with the fork in my hand, because then they will be puzzled and ask themselves why. And then you can explain what I said to them and add that they too can keep their forks. Something better is coming.”
Getting Up in Time for the War Room Shift
Talking about praying I am reminded of this one time where I decided to go for a War Room Shift in the middle of the night. Not something I have been particularly good at this year. You know the feeling. The alarm clock goes off and you realize how much time there is until breakfast!… And then begins one of those meaningful conversations with oneself, which in my case more often than not will end up in my own defeat by me re-setting the alarm clock to a time more “humane” time in my own weak eyes.
So this one time I said to my roommates that I had decided to really go for my War Room Shift this particular night at 2 A.M. So I set my alarm clock, rolled over, fell asleep, and what felt like a minute or two later I woke up – not by my alarm clock, but by a friend of ours who was more drunk than usual and decided to go be with his friends. Not that there is anything wrong with this per se, but in general I don’t like people waking me up in the middle of the night.
And then I remembered what I had said to my roommates about getting up at 2 A.M. and I looked at my phone – 01:55 A.M. … So I got out of my bed, got dressed, packed a bag with my Bible and a notebook, and went out to see what my friend was up to.
I watched an old movie in my own language the other day. The movie was made back in 1965 and portrays some sailors who need to raise some money to keep their fishing boat. What I like about these old movies is that there is no need to have ten-thousand cool looking effects or incredible story writing in order to captivate an audience. Instead there are a lot of long funny scenes about all sorts of small things in life and room for a couple of songs from time to time.
I particularly laughed at this one scene where a little boy around ten years old is out fishing too and they come to another harbor. Here he immediately meets a girl and the romance begins… Of course this is to make fun of the classic joke that all sailors have a girl in each harbor, but what I liked most what his “pick-up line,” which went like this: “Do you want to see my stamp collection?”
We do indeed collect many funny things, and not everything we collect is equally praiseworthy. I, for one, am an expert when it comes to collecting dust under my bed, and lately I have even been quite good at collecting bed bugs in my bed too. I have learned, time and again, that both of these are not as easy to dispose of as I would like.
However, I also like books. These I don’t mind collecting – in fact they are the only reason why I claim to have some sort of understanding of women and their so called “shopping gene.”
When I came here in September by airplane I had five books with me: two Bibles, two devotional books, and my SA songbook in my own language. Today I counted the number of books I have acquired since September and came to a realization that perhaps I should try to limit myself a bit. I counted the books twice to make sure I hadn’t counted completely wrong. Both times the count ended with no less than forty-five books! (And this is of course does not include the at least two more books I absolutely need to buy before I go back home ^^,)
Well, I guess I will have to ship some of the books home, and I hope to avoid sending the dust and beg bugs with them. Anyways, my favorite thing is not to collect books – although one should think so by now. No, my favorite thing to collect is memories!
Hope you enjoyed a few of my memories from my time here, and that they have given you a little glimpse into DTES living.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!