Friday Night, Carrie and I went to a show in Nashville to see some friend’s band play. They are on tour, headed to a festival that they are playing for the second year in a row. The show was excellent (and only had a 6 dollar cover) and afterwards, we all went back to my place for drinks. The band ended up staying there, all six of them. I wasn’t sure we were gonna be able to fit them all in the living room, but we managed and it ended up being a fun night.
I met a guy named Shane that night as well. When several of the band members and I were outside hanging out drinking beer (doesn’t that just fit right in in east nashville?) Shane came up to us to say that he’d be back in a second, that he was a god, and that he was going to get numb. I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant at the time, but I imagined he was going to get high in some form or fashion.
He came back about 15 minutes later and sat down and just started hanging out with us, high as a paper kite. He was nice, though I couldn’t quite understand everything he was talking about. He offered to buy me a rock of crack cocaine, to which I declined, but we did have a pretty good time sitting out there talking.
Even though Shane was likely up on crack, we just sat there and talked to him. For 30 minutes or so. Just like he was one of the guys. I don’t know that Shane is going to quit using anytime soon, but I felt blessed just to meet him. I’ve decided its not my place to try and fix anyone, and shunning them is not going to do the job either. Many of these people, homeless, addicts, thieves, dealers…. they are my neighbors. And living in this neighborhood, they aren’t just my figurative neighbor (you know the love they neighbor stuff that Jesus said). They are actually my neighbors. They live under overpasses or behind buildings near me. They live in the house next door and in the apartments two doors down. They are my neighbors. And I’m going to treat them that way. Its just that in this neighborhood, instead of borrowing a cup of sugar, sometimes your neighbors need someone to treat them with decency or to buy them some groceries. I think Christians would do good to spend more time around folks like these.