Friday, February 25, 2011

Under the overpass: A journey of faith on the streets of america...

Lately I have been feeling a little disconnected with life.  Not that I don’t enjoy my life…but it’s just…at times I feel like… there’s got to be more.  Then I read books like the one I finished yesturday morning by mike Yankoski called “Under the Overpass” and I start wondering…is this really the life I was created to live?!?!  To work to spend my days selling books?!?!  What else might God be calling me to?!?!
  “Under the Overpass” is about two young college students who turn in their life of comfort for 5 months to live on the streets of five different cities across America.  All they take with them are two guitars (to help with panhandling), two $3 dollar sleeping bags, and a backpack each to carry their bibles, journals and an extra pair of clothes.  Though their journey is about their experience living on the street and finding out if their faith truly is what they say it is…I found this book to be filled with many challenges for the “average Christian” sitting at home.
  For one…time and time again in this book there are stories of people walking up to these two “homeless” men and saying they will pray for them but not providing for their obvious needs (like food or shelter).  There’s a story about these church folks sitting at a restaurant talking about the bible but very obviously avoiding the smelly, hungry “homeless” guys sitting just on the other side of the room.  And then there is another story about our two "homeless" friends being kicked off church property by the minister of homeless outreach because there was “important people coming” to the church that day! Stories like this make me angry…they make me wonder what’s wrong with people…and they also convict me, because although I would like to think that put in the same position I would reach out…I can’t always say I would.
  Now don’t get me wrong…there are also some really great stories in this book of Christians stepping up to the plate and offering a meal, companionship, and really going above and beyond to acknowledge both the men and their needs (I’m thinking in particular of one church who not only accepted them into their service but bought them groceries and donated enough money to get them to their next destination)!  And although these stories are much fewer, they also challenge me too.  In fact, they make me want to “be the kind of Christian I say I am”!
  What I liked most about this book though is how it challenged me to truly surrender my life to God.  To not just say I follow Christ but to truly allow that to infiltrate every part of my being.  God’s given me lots of “crazy” ideas over the years.  Ideas that other people have shot down or look down upon as too far out of the box…and because of that I’ve closed the doors on those ideas too.  This book reminded me to trust in God and not the opinion or others…to trust in his ways even when they aren’t the ways of the world…and to recognize that he truly is my “All in All”.  If anything, after reading “Under the Overpass”, I feel the call to trust God more completely and to follow him…..even into the depths!

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