This was written over a month ago, so some of the timing is off. It doesn’t affect the story unless you are in email communication with me about some specifics…
A few months ago I was thinking about passions. I used to have a lot. Travel, justice, relieving homelessness, anti-trafficking, racial reconciliation, bible studying, intentional community planning, prayer chains, blogging, reading blogs, silly Facebook gaming, documentary watching, sleeping in, beer connoisseuring, new restaurant trying, happy hour partying… They were many and all quite superficial. There were reasons for that, like not truly knowing people and using these “passions” as a way to make friends. The formula was simple- “The more groups, the more friends.”
Today, I have a couple passions. Learning how to live life with my wife and ending homelessness. What these two small passions lack in volume they make up for in depth. It is no longer something I walk in and out of.
For obvious reasons, I am not attempting to meet 6-10 peoples or groups a week for a cuppa, meal, happy hour or late night chat. Juggling that many friends and connections I was never good at remembering their stories. Whether the story was about where they came from or where they were going. Whether their job ended or grandma in Montana passed away when they were 4. I was a bad friend because I was spread so thin, even if I was attempting to be passionate. Instead I spend as much time as I can with the beautiful Hannah, occasionally hearing the other side of a story I was apart of, or telling the same story she has heard 18 times by now.
Instead of ignoring one group of homeless in favor of another, there are people I know all around town. And I am no longer just saying, “Sorry, we just do a meal.” Yesterday, I hugged a friend goodbye at the Greyhound station as he prepared to travel for 3 days and 8 hours across the country to a home that has walls not made of paper and plastic. Today, I bought a ticket for another friend we sent to his family and an apartment in the Midwest two years ago, so he can come see us again. Tonight, I will go by a hotel to make a payment on a room for a new friend who just hasn’t caught a lucky break in four to five years. It was a long road and long struggle to get him just a little bit of money, but here’s to hoping we can give him a two week financial reprieve to move forward. Then next weekend, a team including myself will move a single mom and her two kids back into housing from the streets. We are hoping to provide the relational support needed to keep her from becoming overwhelmed in the circumstances of being on the fringes of the American Dream.
As with most things in life that I really cared about a year ago, that American Dream is becoming no longer important.
I have real passions now. Not superficial, overwhelmed, inch-deep passions. But passions that I give up work time off for. That I give up free time for. That I give up introverted time for.
And passions that I am a better man for.