"In a city mark and marred and scarred, a world of shades of grey, artificial graffiti colours the walls. In a crack a seed takes root, amid the blocks of cold pavement.
A gathering of orphaned, whose hands have felt the sandpaper-grating of their very lives burn raw their skin. A people of loss and mistakes, a people of regret and pain. A people who, despite the sight they see through their eyes, are not lost to beauty and the sincerest of love. They have not the things of this world in abundance, and yet they still give, giving only of themselves, for that is all they truly possess.
They have their time, their emotions, their words, their company, their stories, and experiences. We who have a home, a bed, security and financial stability could never give what these people have to offer. They commit to each other more than earthly possessions; they give to themselves straight of their desperation, and when they should seek the Lord, their faith would be all but incomplete. For their place of hope in their heart is not cushioned by a steady job or a warm house or medicine in the cabinet.
Their need is great and therefore their hope, their trust and their faith must be greater, for their God is greatest.
I found a beauty in East Hastings that I have never seen in this middle class, safety-focused society.
When I was eating lunch with Klyve at the love-feast, a homeless, drug-using man, he looked upon me with care and equality, and a heart to give me his story. He asked to serve me drinks, and told me about his passion to see people come off their dependence of drugs. He told me a story of unbelievable loss and forgiveness. He forgave the people who deeply abused him in residence school as a child. He forgave the woman who smothered and killed his baby daughter. He told me all of what could have been a terrible and ugly story, made spectacular by his heart for redemption.
He gave to me of himself and deeply impacted my life, and all I had to offer him in return was some pizza and half a chocolate bar.
I met a servant and saw a heart of gold behind a trench coat and yellowing teeth, eyes that remember deep-rooted pain, and a voice that uttered genuine forgiveness.
If I'd met him on the streets, I probably would have written him off. Raw was humbling. I was humbled by the selflessness of a man who had only a tin pot to his name.
I guess it just goes to show that no matter what walk of life you come from, the Lord sees the jewels left unpolished and He cherishes the utter beauty of broken humanity. I think the only real difference between the rich and the poor is that the poor keep their treasures unlocked, and only a smile and some spare time will buy the opportunity to see those gorgeous gems."