Well, it’s not Easter yet, it’s Tuesday, and Tuesday is when Candy Christmas (a real person’s name), brings her ministry to the poor and homeless under the Jefferson St bridge in Nashville. Check out bridgeministry.org
Today was the first time I’d ever gone to the bridge, (actually it’s under the bridge), when Candy Christmas was there. It was cold, near freezing, but that didn’t stop anyone. Hundreds of homeless, and hundreds of volunteers, showed up. Being that it’s Spring Break there were perhaps more volunteers than homeless people.
It was everything you’d expect from a church ministry. It was along the style of television evangelism, but toned down for the streets. Gospel singing along with pretaped backing musical instruments. There was a sermon. And there was food. Thank goodness they let us eat while the sermon was going on. It’s really frustrating to have to wait until the sermon is over – many homeless will get cranky while waiting to eat, and that’s usually when some kind of violent outburst takes place. Well, there was no violence, but a car in the parking lot did catch fire just as the sermon was about to start. Dinner was barbeque chicken and beans. After the service was over, they had an enormous amount of boxed food for people to take home.
Candy, though an evangelical preacher, has been doing this service long enough that she’s developed some street smarts, and she uses that in her sermon. Of course there were still parts of the service that I have a particular distaste for, like the use of fear to force conformity, but she didn’t harp on it. The length of the service was well within tolerable limits for me.
The most important thing is that I was running low on food at home, and I have no more money until next month. So the food, especially the food box, was a true blessing for me, and I’m very grateful for it. People always say that we should thank god for blessings, but I know that this blessing came from the people involved in this ministry, and so I thank them. They helped me out in the nick of time.