My stint in temporary homeless housing is over. And it was a blessing. But those of us who are familiar with how God operates know that blessings don’t always feel good; and many times this one did not.
What I discovered in my personal Valley of Baka was how good I’ve had it nearly all of my life–and how good I still have it. I’ve been hesitant to say the following about my former residence, but I can’t hold it in any longer: it is a portal for the Enemy, for Satan.
And why wouldn’t it be? Many people there had been there for years, or had multiple stints of homelessness. Additionally, not only was it a hub of drug usage, but drug sales. I can’t prove it and I don’t want to do so. But I heard and I saw.
Of course marijuana usage is prevalent there. It’s legal here in California and all one needs is a “rec,” provided by an on-site doctor at the various weed shops around town. Before my homeless stint, I had nothing against weed smokers. I had known some before and they were pretty regular people–actually a bit calmer and more fun than most. But there’s something about the equation of weed and homelessness: it seems to produce obsession. Many of the weed smokers at the shelter stayed high night and day. One could get up in the morning and smell that odor coming out of someone’s room. (Allegedly, no smoking was allowed in the rooms. Like almost all other rules at this facility, this rule was spottily enforced, however.) Another proof of obsession: this was all some people talked about: what kind gave the best high, which store had the best deals. Talk about boring conversation!
Other things are used by the residents, however–things I’d barely known about before my arrival: “spice” and meth. And all too many people would sell their prescription medications. (There are a lot of Department of Mental Health clients.) Through these pharmakeia, I got to see zombies. Yes, that’s what they were. The worst thing: watching the descent of someone who had been relatively normal.
Hopelessness, drug usage, fights, theft…and cold-heartedness. I observed/experienced all those things. And through these opened doors, I got to see the evil side of the supernatural without its usual cloak. Needless to say, I put on the Whole Armor of God everyday, but I could still feel the harsh, coldness that permeated the place–the unchecked fear. And I wasn’t the only one who felt it–symbolized by the perennial knot in the pit of my intestines that is only now going away since I moved into this apartment on the 17th.
|My New Living Room|
And it is only now that I am able to write.
So I am grateful to God for the opening of my eyes and for the physical and spiritual sustenance while in my own little taste of pseudo-Hell. Of course, I’m never alone. He’s here.