My first reaction to seeing a group of men prostituting themselves was to ask, “Why don’t they just get a job?” It was only after several years of walking with these men and listening to their stories that I realized that it wasn’t that easy. They were conditioned. If I wanted to help, I would need to get in their cage.One young man who taught me this was Jim.
Emmaus Ministries was the first program I volunteered with when I moved to Chicago. John Green, who founded Emmaus and wrote the book quoted above, has a wife Caroline who is a folk musician. She and Mike Choby were performing at the Barnes and Noble Cafe in Schaumburg near where I lived. Many of her songs were about the homeless men she and her husband worked with. It was like a sign. I’d moved to the city to do exactly the kind of work she was singing about and there she was–with flyers to hand out no less.
There is no such thing as coincidence.