UNDER THE OVERPASS
By: Mike Yankoski
Multnoma press 2005 paper back $11.99
Mke wanted to understand the street people. He was convinced that Jesus has called us all to reach out to the poor and that nowhere is it easier to find them than on the street. So he recruits his friend Sam and off they go. They put on old clothes, a three dollar sleeping bag and a desire to experience the streets of America.
Denver, Washington. San Francisco, San Diego and Phoenix where they plan to stay about a month in each. They lived as street people eating out of garbage cans when no other food was available.
They met many unusual people on the journey. Some addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some mentally impaired and one perhaps demonic.
They played their guitars and sang for coins. They tried to find a place to sleep where the rats were not too bad. Once they went five weeks with out a bath. They were run off by both the police and by churches. They saw great kindnesses and found help among those who were so damaged. The odds were against “normal” folks being of much help. Most of us turn our heads and walk on by. But, there were a few that reached out to them and the others on the street with the hands of Jesus, feeding them but of far greater worth treating them as human beings.
It is a story loaded with life, with the worst and the best of humanity. At the end Mike offers some ideas about how to show compassion and kindness to those stuck on the street. He does not suggest just giving money to them but rather to begin by treating them as you brothers and sisters.