Thursday, November 07, 2013

Something new in the neighborhood

"Where's Larry?"

Over the summer (while I was out of town) construction began on the building next door. They are transforming a vacant bank building (empty for 12 years!) into a boutique hotel. The project includes plans to add four more stories to the 10 that are there right now. So far, things are just at the demolition stage. Since this includes the facade, scaffolding was set up that extends all the way across our front door, effectively hiding us from the passers-by. The scaffolding also provides shelter for the street people who used to camp out in the now barricaded entryway of the old bank building.

One of those men is "front door Larry." (Until a few weeks ago we had a "back door Larry," too; after spending the summer and early autumn months living between the dumpsters in the back alley he has gone south for the winter. We miss him, not only for his friendly smile, but because he would clear away the cardboard and beer cans that people leave on our loading dock.)

Anyway, front door Larry came in yesterday, carrying a clean sheet of cardboard. He handed it to Sister Edward Marie, and then pulled out a Sharpie. "Sister, could you write John 3:16 on this for me? The whole thing--people like that." He began narrating, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son..." and Sister started writing. Truth to tell, she didn't get the full verse down, but Larry was happy, and back out onto Michigan Avenue he went with his evangelical message.

Things like this help me to remember that our center here, while it is at the service of evangelization, is really here to help others evangelize. Who's to say that Larry's single line of Scripture will not touch someone's heart in a remarkable way? And we will have been a humble part of that!


stormy said...

God Bless Larry,and all of our brothers and sisters living out on the streets!

Blanca said...

Having worked there for some years, sister, I can say that is the most important reason this center exist. Not just for our Faith, but to have a visual aide of the fact that we are not alone. IN the busy street you don't know how many people would be surprise to find such a store there, and enter smiling and even if nothing was purchase, they left smiling (I felt a little more confident that our Church was present).