Christ, Napping

I was wondering the other day about what happened to the Jesus Army.  Well, apparently nothing happened to them; they’re still around, at least according to their website, though they’re not so much in evidence on the streets.  I have seriously mixed feelings about the Jesus People: on the one hand, they do seem sincere and they do some good stuff; on the other hand they indulge in what is now called ‘Christ-napping’ – picking homeless people up off the streets and taking them to church, presumably with the sweetener of a meal or hot drink.

I really disapprove of these tactics: if you want to help homeless people then just help them.  Feed them, offer hot drinks, clothing, whatever – but don’t make going to church a condition of having this stuff.  Don’t make them tick a box (or a pew) before they can get the help; because that sucks.  Just offer the help; be the church – and then maybe they’ll want to join.  Maybe not, but at least you’ll have done something worthwhile.  Sound Cafe works on this principle, and so does Tomatoes.  It’s like St Francis said: ‘Talk about God all the time: use words if you must.’

So anyway – my thought for the day is this: that the sculpture of the homeless Jesus should be called ‘Christ, Napping’.

Not bad eh?

Kirk out

PS And here are the Jesus People, if you want to look them up:


The Progress-bar of Sisyphus

Well, I found something out yesterday: you can’t blog in the library.  Who knew?  There was I, imagining myself to be broadcasting to my people from the reading-room, when not only did it fail to publish, it didn’t save the draft either!  I clicked on ‘publish post’ and the progress bar ground slowly across the screen and halted a millimetre from the end where it stayed until my time was up.  It’s like those things you install that have progress bars which, when complete, give way to more and more progress bars.  What’s the point of a progress bar if it doesn’t tell you how you’re progressing?  You can just imagine Basil Fawlty jumping up and down in rage at that one: and it made me think of Sisyphus, the guy in the Greek myth who was condemned to push a heavy rock up a mountain.  As soon as he got to the top the rock tumbled all the way down to the bottom again.  I guess you could call that a bar to progress…

So what I was going to tell you yesterday was that, further to my post on people I see every day (and Steve’s response) I actually met one of the guys in person!  I was at the Sound Cafe (see last Wednesday’s post) when Chopper Guy turned up!  He proved to be very cheerful and personable, and he told me that he used to have a motorbike but had to give it up, so now he has his chopper instead.  Look out for him in town and say hello: he’s got gingerish dreads and a huge green chopper.*  Sound Cafe was great this week: it seemed to gel a bit more and we did some communal singing (the aim is to get a homeless choir going) before I went up to do my homeless poem about the anti-homeless spikes.  It’s called ‘Spike’ and it got a great reception: one bloke said it made him cry.  Afterwards we had a poetry table and several people came along to write: one or two even read their poems out!
So after that I had two hours in town before the Left Unity meeting: hence the library visit.  On parking my bike in Humberstone Gate I got caught in a ridiculously fierce shower and got soaked because I couldn’t get my bike-lock out fast enough.  Earlier I put my bike in the bike-park: I’m pleased they’ve opened this up again.
And so to bed…
Kirk out.
*Please refrain from sniggering…