a new challenge.

Last Friday night I was in Broad Ripple… Usually I’m not in that part of town, and I am rarely there at night.

A little side note- I absolutely love the atmosphere in Broad Ripple. Even though this town is known for it’s night life, I love the creative vibe it has and artistic community it is. I really enjoyed the short hour or so I got to spend on Friday. It’s a beautiful part of the city.

While Broad Ripple is a great place to chill when you want to spend time in the city, it also has a large population of really hurting people. While I love spending time in the city, my heart hurts when I see young women or men (and older ones too) so drunk they can’t see straight. My heart hurts when I see teens and young adults high and wasted on the street corners because they have no purpose for their lives. Sometimes the stories aren’t as extreme- the city just reflects lost people. People that are hungry for an intense love that won’t be found anywhere else but through God. You know what’s sobering about that fact? We’re not doing anything about it.

On my way to enjoy Starbucks on the corner of the busiest street in Broad Ripple, I noticed two scraggly men sitting on the curb. Everything in me wanted to plop down next to them and chat. I would have too, if I had something to give them. I’m not a huge fan of handing out money to people that are on the streets. I don’t know what they would do with the money, but I would rather know that I’m filling their bellies and hearts, not anything else.

Anyways, one thing I really learned this Summer is that the power of talking to a “homeless” person is more valuable than anything else- I’m not afraid to talk with someone sitting on the street anymore because of things that have taken place in my heart. However, another thing I know is that talking doesn’t go very far when someone when they’re hungry.

Here’s an idea. McDonald’s offers a “treat pack” for $1. The treat pack has 12 coupons for apple and carmel packs, hamburgers, milk, etc. What a great tool to carry around whenever you will be in the city! I can imagine a myriad of uses… Talking to a constantly hungry teenager or a homeless person on the corner… A McDonald’s is always within walking distance.

If you have an extra dollar laying around, consider further developing your heart for the afflicted. These people are searching for love and purpose, what could some food and good conversation do to guide them towards the Light?