A few years ago, while I was traveling to another city (I really can’t remember where to tell the truth), I was taking a walk along a city street and suddenly heard someone singing, ‘well, I think I’m goin’ out of my head…’ I looked over and saw a young man holding his hair and walking in circles singing that over and over again!
I have to say, I thought to myself, ‘yeah, that would be about right’. It was funny, but I know he was suffering from some sort of mental disorder and I felt a tad sorry for him. I recognized the song, however, and thought I'd share it with you.
One of the things I love to do, and need to do more often, is street photography. Walking the city streets and capturing people in the environment brings a whole host of different subjects to choose from. You also run face-to-face into humanity there.
During the late 90’s, after going through probably the most painful experience of my life, one of the things I found healing from was working in a homeless kitchen in downtown San Francisco. It was Glide Memorial Methodist Church which has one of the largest outreaches to the homeless even today.
On one side of the street is the San Francisco Hilton, and on the other, is the church with a kitchen that feeds homeless folks every day. I had felt the Lord lead me to help there on Saturday’s. All I did was clean and serve, but, after a year of doing that, my heart had found a great healing.
I believe, what helped inspire me to do that was something from my days at ORU. In college, to assure I finished my senior paper with a good grade, I picked a subject which I knew the mission’s professor would need to grade (she always gave good grades…). Yes, it was probably not the best thing to do.
The topic I chose was, Inner City Missions to the Homeless in America. Sure enough, I got an A! What also happened, though, was that my eyes were opened to a whole side of our society I didn’t know was there.
The photo today was taken while doing street photography downtown in Dallas. This happy guy was holding a conversation with someone in his mind and having a great time. Whoever his alternate ego was, they were funny! Even though I knew he was suffering from a mental disorder, it filled my heart to see him enjoying himself like that.
The truth is, most homeless are either drug users, people with schizophrenia, veterans with PTSD, and, some, who just choose that life (don’t ask me why either). In fact, we know of one young man who chose to live on the streets and traveled around the country telling jokes for money just to feel free from all of life’s constraints.
Street photography isn’t just about the homeless, of course. It’s about everyday people. I like the shot below of a woman who was giving dancing lessons at the square in Ft. Worth. Then, there’s the guy we ran into in West Dallas who had a mean Elvis impersonation going…
I guess the point today is, not only to share a bit about myself, but to say that, no matter how hard life is, someone else always has it harder. If we can find it in our hearts to help them, in the process, we may just find healing ourselves. And, along the way, we may just hear some good Elvis music!...
Blessings my friend,