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An exercise in homelessness.
Everybody’s talking about it: there was a couple standing in front of the mall with signs today; people were stopping to give them water, food, and even money—can you believe it? One lady even stopped to take their picture.
And then about 4:00pm this afternoon, they gathered all their stuff, put it into a black car, and drove away. But wait—that’s not all—someone also saw them at a nearby grocery store buying sushi, can you believe it?And they reappeared at Riverfront Park having a picnic—is this some sort of scandal? And then someone saw them buying ice cream! Did you hear about it?—we think it was those “Prove It” people!
Ha! You have to laugh—I’m sure some of those very things were said today because it’s all true.
You see, today is Vicki’s and my anniversary, so she came and stood with me for awhile, and then she then gave a homeless guy (me) a ride to Kroger, where I bought sushi (with the emergency money I’d brought to the streets with me).
We had a picnic and ice cream, and then she brought me back to camp. I know most people wouldn’t see this as a great way to spend an anniversary, but it was—except for the part where I had to stay at camp alone and she went home alone.
Today was actually the first time I let anyone stand with me, and it needed to be my wife. But I think the time has come to share this part of the mission of proving that we care. Several of you have wanted to come stand with me, but there were a few things that needed to happen first.
I had to first complete my part of standing and living alone as a homeless man. After all, this isn’t a protest, it’s a sign and a way to activate the community (including even some of you faithful readers!), and you also needed to see me prove that I was committed to this fight.
Just for a minute, let’s go back to Ephesians 6 before we move on …
My 14-day stand ends Sunday night, so on Monday morning at 9:00am, everyone is invited to gather in the back parking lot of the Refuge (635 Frosty Morn Drive), where we’ll have a prayer and quick briefing, divide into teams, and see how many intersections we can occupy. We’ll stand from 10:00am until 12:00pm. This is where we’ll convert from a single act to a movement: The Prove It Movement.
So this is going to be a very grass roots event. Pick up a plain T-shirt or some poster board (neon yellow if possible) and a Sharpie marker and write “Do You Care?” on the front and “Prove It!” on the back in big block letters.
I know a lot of you are going to have to work, so if you can get away with it without being fired, get those sticky blank name tags or even a piece of duct tape and a Sharpie, write “Prove It” on it, and wear it to work. Be prepared to explain how to prove it when you’re asked, because people will ask. And everybody honk at us when you drive by!
Remember, this isn’t a protest; we’re simply standing and praying for our city to awaken and treat its poor with dignity and respect, and to work on ways to restore hope to the broken, including the homeless.
So whether you’re standing on a corner or working or driving, pray. Let’s see this as not the end of my stand but the beginning of something big as we stand together. Do we care? Let’s prove it. Let’s start a movement!
See you on Monday.
One way you can “Prove It” that takes less than a minute: sign the petition to show your support of a full-time transitional homeless shelter:
Kenny York is the founder of Manna Café Ministries, a faith-based organization devoted to meeting the needs of homeless and low-income families in Montgomery County via hot meals, food boxes, and emergency shelter. In 2014, the organization distributed 1.3 million pounds of food to the hungry and provided beds for fifty-plus individuals via a warming shelter during the winter season.
TopicsClarksville, Clarksville TN, Ephesians, Frosty Morn Drive, God, Homeless, Kenny York, Prove It, Prove It Clarksville, Sushi, Vicki York
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