Welcome

Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.


Ponderings

Ponderings

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Voice of the Homeless ~ Matthew

Matthew is Richard’s buddy that came with him from Boston.  Just after I finished talking with Richard, Matthew came walking into the square.  He is also 20 years old.  He had just finished walking eight miles and was hot and weary but was willing to talk with me.  We found a bench in the shade.

Matthew grew up in a Christian home.  His father is a pastor.  He said his home was strict and he didn’t like all the rules. He was homeschooled from 3rd grade on. He didn’t have many friends.  Later he told me he played little league baseball for about 6-7 years for the city teams.  I thought to myself that he got out more than he was saying.  My boys played little league baseball too and we were always out with practices and games and lots of boys!  He started to rebel as a 12 year old, sneaking out of the house at night.  There were a lot of homeless people in the town where he lived and he knew how to get to where they were.  By that time of night, he said a lot of them would be drunk and either passed out or had moved on somewhere forgetting to take their liquor with them.  He would find bottles of liquor and beer in the bushes and this is how he started drinking.  He also started smoking.  He became belligerent in the home.  When he turned 16 and got a car, his new found freedom made him even more rebellious, causing a lot of chaos in the home.  He was able to graduate early and at the age of 17.   His parents could not take his rebelliousness and chaos that it was causing in the home and told him to leave.  He became homeless for about eight months. I thought to myself, how ironic, that he first stole from the homeless, and then he became homeless himself.  What’s that saying. . . “what goes around, comes around?”

Once in awhile, friends would let him stay with them. I think he just slept on their couch because he said he did a lot of walking around at night going through trash cans looking for food.  Sometimes he would find some food and sometimes he would not.  He went a week one time without eating anything at all.  A fast he did not intend to do!   He said it’s difficult but you get used to it after awhile.

When he turned 18 he moved in with some other friends for a couple of months.  He then left the friends, got into trouble doing drugs and drinking and ended up joining a gang. He got arrested a couple of times, going to jail for a couple of weeks.  He said he knew a lot of the police officers in his town and they came to bat for him.  All charges were dismissed.  He was let go.

He got a job and wanted to straighten out his life.  But shortly after, he was laid off and found himself homeless again.  He and Rich had friends from Boston who had moved to Bowling Green.  These friends said they should come down here and stay with them for awhile until they could get on their feet. Two weeks later, they all got into an argument and the friends made them leave.  As you read in Richard’s story, a police officer told them how to get to the Salvation Army and this is where they are at the time I am talking with them.  They are just waiting to get the wire of money from Boston friends for their bus ticket.  I asked how much that was.  He said $178 for each of them.  I asked how much he had on him.  He said $30 in his pocket and $40 on a card.  I don’t have a lot of money to just hand out, but that is what I wanted to do.  I wanted to give him and Richard the bus ticket money, but that was just a little too much.  And I wonder, when I want to help if that is the best thing.  Maybe at times it is, and other times it isn’t. Maybe God has other ideas and I don’t want to step in and mess that up.  I decided to come home and pray about what I could do to help, if anything.

In Boston he said he panhandled and would get at the most $5.  That would take him to McDondals for something to eat and drink. He kept saying it’s tough, but you get used to it.  I offered to bring him some food and he said “No, I’m alright, I’ll be out of here in a few days.”  I thought as I did with Richard, there is a pride issue here and I didn’t want to step on that.

I asked how the interaction was from others. He said they were friendly down here in Bowling Green. 

He wants to get back to Boston, get a job, and get a place.  I asked about his dreams if any.  He said “Yes, I have dreams, I want to be in law enforcement, security and I want to try to get into the military.  He’s a big guy. I could see him doing any of these things.

He told me “There are always worse circumstances than my own. That’s how you get through the day, things could always be worse.  I’ve got a bag, I’m in a shelter, I have food there.  I’m better off than some.”  He told me about an older man in the shelter who was in the army and now he is back home and homeless.  Matthew seemed really bothered by that.  I was too!

He tries to stay positive. He seems to have a pretty good attitude considering his circumstances right now.  He became a Christian as a child.  But his teen-age rebellion got in the way and took over.  He said, “You just gotta learn from your mistakes and go on.” 

I asked if he still had faith in God.  “I don’t think about it much, just trying to get by day by day.” I asked, “Do you pray?”  “Not really”.  He said he used to, but its difficult thinking about it in the position he is in.  If only these guys could understand that just because life is difficult it doesn’t mean that God is not loving or that He doesn’t care.

I told him I am reminded of what the Bible tells us, that we are not promised an easy life, but that Jesus will walk through it all with us, that He will never leave us and that I hoped he (Matt) would not forget that.  He replied, “I’m just making it day by day.”

He is upset that people think homeless people are just lazy and don’t want to get a job.  He used to think that way about them, but now he has a different perspective.  “It’s not as easy as some think, people get depressed and that makes everything worse.”

He acknowledged again he is where he is because of his own choices.  “If you could go back and change things, do the last 10 years all over again, what would you change?”  He immediately replied, “I would change everything.  I would not be rebellious as a teen.  I would not smoke or drink again.”  I asked if he realized that the rules his parents had were for his good and not bad, and he said he knows that NOW.  He said if he could go back, he would live by the rules, knowing it was good for him.

I could not help but compare his story to ours.  Our oldest son, a sweet, loving, sensitive boy, at age 17 slowly started to change.  Over the next year, he came to where he didn’t like “rules” and didn’t want to be told anything.  What was once a very peaceful, loving home, became fueled with chaos and the rest of the family was becoming sick, physically and emotionally.  He had to make a choice and he chose to leave.  They don’t realize how heartbreaking it is for the family left behind.

Matthew was adamant about not having his picture taken.  I talked him into letting me just take a picture from the knees down, to show I was really sitting with him and talking with him.  He laughed and said, “sure, whatever.” 

My thoughts:  Matthew is also a very sweet guy.  I believe like Richard, he knows about the love of Jesus, but he has made choices that have led to a bleak situation now and I’m not sure but think he might be blaming God.  I had the feeling that he was more hardened than Richard and yet Richard told me a more heart breaking story.  I don’t believe I have heard the whole story of Matthew.

 I believe he and his friend Richard are like a lot of men, full of pride and want to be able to take care of themselves.  I offered both of them a sack of food and they both turned me down.  My mother’ heart did not like to think of these sweet, sad boys hungry, but I did not want to push.  After a few days, I may go back and see how they are doing.  After a few more days out there, they may feel differently.

I told Matthew before I left him that I was a mother and had sons close to his age and how much I loved them. I knew his parents loved him and had to be so worried about him and to please get back in contact with them when he gets back to Boston.  He just smiled at me.  I told him I was a mother and I just had to say that. I wanted to hug him too, but he backed away and said he was not a touchy, feely kind of guy and did not like that.  This mother backed off but told him I would be praying for him.  I believe he can make it too.

THE NEXT DAY~
I went back the next day and after talking with Richard for the second time, I talked with Matt just a little bit more.  I asked if there was anything else he wanted to share with me.  He got a far off look and then said “Yes, I’ll share something with you”.  When he was 16 years old, he went to work one summer at a Christian Youth Summer Camp as a counselor.  They would work all week at camp and then have their week-end free. 

One of the other young guys had a party at his house with drinking and Matt went, meeting up with a girl he knew.  After camp was over and everyone went home, Matt found out the girl was pregnant and it was his.  She lived at home with a father who was drunk a lot.  As she started to descend the stairs in her home one day, holding her 4 month old son, her drunken father got mad and pushed her, making her tumble all the way down the stairs.  At the bottom of the stairs was the front door with a long pane of glass on either side.  When she landed at the bottom, the baby flew out of her arms and went through the front door window and died.  She had a broken pelvis and back.

Matt was really affected by this. I put my hand on his back and told him sincerely how sorry I was. I noticed for a guy who doesn't like to be touchy and recieve hugs, he was not pulling away.  I asked how this had affected him and he told me it made him angry and sad and it was something he thought about every day. 

I couldn’t help but think if people would follow God’s Word and live the way He wants us too, so much heartache could be avoided.  I guess this has been going on since the Garden of Eden.

We went back over to the bench where Richard was sitting and I thanked them both for sharing with me and it had been a pleasure to meet them.  My friend Carolyn was with me this day, and so I asked her if she minded praying.  Richard, Matt, Carolyn, myself and Greg who had been sitting on another bench joined us.  We prayed for the boys to make it back safely to Boston, and for the Lord to provide for them and guide them in the way that they should go. Richard gave me another hug, and I told Matt it was alright, I remembered that he didn’t like hugs.  He stood up and smiled big and said, “Oh, come here, I’ll give you a hug”.  He was trusting me.  Again, a little warmth and compassion, and a listening ear goes a long way.



Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

(the boys made it back to Boston)

6 comments:

Jennie Morgan said...

Boy these stories just rip at your heart, don't they?? Every homeless person out there is somebody's son or daughter, mom or dad, sister or brother. Your contact with them is changing the way many of us perceive these folks. Oh if only we would always look through the eyes of Christ!

Reformed rebel said...

It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of these young men and all they have been through. My prayer is that one day they, like Greg, will turn to God and He will use them in a mighty way to reach others that have made some of the same wrong choices. God is amazing like that!
God Bless you Kristin...Chelle

Tracy said...

Hi Kristin - you are doing amazing work for the Lord. I pray for many good reports as you meet these lost people and encourage them back to Jesus.
God bless
Tracy

Denise said...

Kristin,

God bless you for the work you are doing and for sharing your stories. Reading what you are actually experiencing puts it into so much more perspective for me. I hear about, read about, and think about these unfortunate people who walk the streets, and think about how I would like to get out and do something to help them. Reading what you do is so inspiring and motivating. It is an encouragement to me to carry out my desire.

Heartfelt thanks to you,
Denise:)

Lisa Maria said...

I hope they find peace in God.. we know until then they'll just keep searching. I hope that Matt takes your advice and contacts his parents. Like you, I wonder if there's not more to his story.

What a beautiful heart you have Kristin.. God bless you! It would be great if they could let you know how they're doing, but we'll just keep praying for them.

Love & Hugs

Jenn said...

These boys are tearing up this momma's heart! I am so glad you were able to talk with both of them before they headed back to Boston. I'll be adding Matthew to my prayer list.