Wednesday, November 16, 2016

11-16-16-- Reasons I'm Quitting

Remember what I said in the last episode of our story.  "The real reason I'm quitting is because my Voice is telling me to."  So below are the less-than-real reasons.  This sounds totally like too much information.  But people around me will list these as the "real" reasons and my Voice as a convenience.  Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

1. Because I am an enemy to the cities I've worked in
Not so much Portland, they are still willing to work with me, but Gresham is really tired of me.  I've been involved in protests in Gresham (which they are not used to) for the homeless, I've organized camps which they don't want, I've confronted their leaders and I've just been successful in winning a trial they held against me.  But most importantly, they believe that I personally am the reason that homeless people still exist in Gresham.  It's not true.  It's the economy of Gresham that causes homelessness.  I help the homeless.  But I guess the city of Gresham isn't too good at cause-and-effect.

Because Gresham dislikes me, I am a target.  They watch what I do and what I am establishing.  Occasionally they take pictures of my Facebook page to find out what's going on. Sounds paranoid, but I've seen their pics. I know that my work at the Red Barn is often targeted and many leaders in Gresham would love to see the Red Barn fold, because I'm helping the "wrong" people. The code department has sent dozens of violation notice over the last couple years and is finally charging us a thousand dollars. So if the work among the homeless is to grow, perhaps it should be done by someone else.  I need to step away and let others do it.

2. Because the Red Barn is compromised
I found out recently that someone is using my church site as a distribution center for meth.

Now, meth is an evil, evil drug.  It causes schizophrenia, making people see and hear what isn't there, but they believe it is real. This person I helped for years and gave him great opportunities, took advantage of those opportunities to give meth to others.  I'll talk more about this later.

The real reason is that I can't figure out how to solve this issue quickly.  Every time I look to the police, or the city, they give me more delays, more limitations to solving this problem.  Possibly, if I stepped away and closed Red Barn permanently, then they would take care of the issue, because it wouldn't be for my church, but for the neighborhood.

3. Because I am Overwhelmed
I am depressed, anxious, and furious.  I can't think well enough to come up with new workable solutions, which has always been my strength in the work.  I am older than I was and it is really time for someone else to take over.

4. Because I struggle to Love
Having the Voice tell me to quit is fine, but I wish that this were the real reason I was quitting.  I can serve food, I can organize volunteers, I can preach a sermon, I can move a camp,  I can give wisdom (on good days).  But I cannot look someone in the eye, let alone care for them.  I can't listen to normal people, let alone difficult people.  If I cannot love, then I should quit this work and figure out how to love.  Because it's all about loving people, caring for them, benefiting them in ways they and I never expected.  But I can't do that right now.  I'm a love cripple.

Jon Forman would say that we are all amateurs at love, but right now, it's worse than that.  I am interested in keeping the ball rolling, but I honestly don't care.  I've done retreats, I've done meditation, I've done prayer, I've done everything we are supposed to do.  It's just not coming back. 

I sound like Barry Manilow singing Tryin' To Get the Feeling.  I'm sorry to put that song in your head.  What?  You've never heard it?  Here:

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