Friday, June 22, 2012

From "the Corner"--June 21

Today I witnessed one of those breakthrough moments at "the Corner." 

The heat rose to oppressive levels.  The crowd that huddled in the shade under Billy's tree in front of his old, delapidated, abandoned house resembled a congregation in the fellowship mode. 

During the two-and-a-half hours that I sat there, I heard countless stories and enjoyed conversations with many people. 

But the sea change that occurred happened very quickly. 

Isaac Nelson, a man who migrated here from New Orleans, ended up in the "walk in" around the corner (an emergency homeless shelter down and around the block from "the Corner) thanks to a fairly tough illness.  About mid-way through our time together I went to my car to get bottled water to replinish the supply in my ice chest.  Upon seeing me lugging the case of water, Isaac sprang to my aid.  He grabbed the water and began filling the ice chest.  Two other men quickly rose to assist him.

"Man, I haven't seen guys jump around on a job like this out here, ever," one of our friends razzed them. 

As we settled back into the comfort of the  porch, two or three other passerbys came down the sidewalk.  Isaac opened the cooler and he invited people to help themselves. 

Isaac was in charge.

Today, the community took over "the Corner" in a brand new way! 

It was a "mission accomplished" moment! 

Just before I had to leave, George, another friend, reminded me of a conversation we had about a month ago.

"You know, I haven't been able to forget what you told me the first day we met," he offered.

"What was that?" I inquired.

"When you said there were enough of us to elect a city council member--I haven't been able to stop thinking about that, man." 

"As many of you as there are and as few folks as actually vote in Dallas, I'm convinced it's something that you all should keep thinking about.  You just need to get organized," I told him.

What a day.  I'll keep coming back here.

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