The Word From the Street Newspaper

Posted: February 25, 2010 in Word From The Street
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We are now in the infant stages of starting a street newspaper called The Word From The Street. Not yet able to afford to put it in print we must be content to build it online here.

Word From The Street was birthed from the idea that homeless people above all else, need to be treated with respect and dignity. Homelessness is not a crime, (although in some cities it is treated as such) and the majority of the homeless population are not drug addicts and alcoholics. Nor are they lazy or have mental problems.

The majority of the homeless community are, in fact, families with children. They are people just like you and me. And in this economy any one of us could be facing homelessness ourselves.  ( But for the grace of God go I )

The Word From The Street will be a collection of articles, poems, and drawings depicting life on the street. Most of these writings will be contributed by the homeless and formally homeless in our community. Once we’re able to get Word From The Street into print we will contract with those in the homeless community to act as vendors to distribute the paper around the city.

In this way, the vendors will be able to supplement their income while helping to bring more public awareness about the homelessness problem in our city. Most importantly, our vendors will be able to regain some of their dignity and self worth as they work on the streets.

Some have asked why we would take on such a task; To put so much effort into a project that is sure to be  mentally and physically challenging, with no prospect of return on our investment. The answer is simple. Living in this world one can easily get caught up in its philosophy of  “me, mine, and I” and “looking out for number one.” But when when circumstances that are beyond your control force you to become one of the victims of homelessness yourself,  it forces you to re-evaluate what is really important. And when you realize that it was only by God’s grace that you were pulled from a life of despair you want to give something back in return.

It is our hope and prayer that by publishing Word From The Street we will be able to help someone else who struggles to find peace in this life. Someone who only wants what we all want; a place they can call  home; to have enough to care for their families; and to walk the streets with dignity.

I know that a simple street newspaper will not change the world or solve the homeless problem. But if we can help one blind person in this world find their way to a better place, then our job is done.

So for now… I will stand by the door.

I Stand By the Door Written by Sam Shoemaker

I stand by the door.

I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.

The door is the most important door in the world

It is the door through which men walk when they find God.

There is no use my going way inside and staying there,

When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,

Crave to know where the door is.

And all that so many ever find

Is only the wall where the door ought to be.

They creep along the wall like blind men,

With outstretched, groping hands,

Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,

Yet they never find it.

So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world

Is for men to find that door – the door to God.

The most important thing that any man can do

Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands

And put it on the latch – the latch that only clicks

And opens to the man’s own touch.

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die

On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.

Die for want of what is within their grasp.

They live on the other side of it – live because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,

And open it, and walk in, and find Him.

So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in –

Go way down into the cavernous cellars,

And way up into the spacious attics.

It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.

Go into the deepest of hidden casements,

Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.

Some must inhabit those inner rooms

And know the depths and heights of God,

And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.

Sometimes I take a deeper look in.

Sometimes venture in a little farther,

But my place seems closer to the opening.

So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.

Some people get part way in and become afraid

Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;

For God is so very great and asks all of us.

And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia

And want to get out. ‘Let me out!’ they cry.

And the people way inside only terrify them more.

Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.

For the old life, they have seen too much:

One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.

Somebody must be watching for the frightened

Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,

To tell them how much better it is inside.

The people too far in do not see how near these are

To leaving – preoccupied with the wonder of it all.

Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door

But would like to run away. So for them too,

I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.

But I wish they would not forget how it was

Before they got in. Then they would be able to help

The people who have not yet even found the door.

Or the people who want to run away again from God.

You can go in too deeply and stay in too long

And forget the people outside the door.

As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,

Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,

But not so far from men as not to hear them,

And remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door –

Thousands of them. Millions of them.

But – more important for me –

One of them, two of them, ten of them.

Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.

So I shall stand by the door and wait

For those who seek it.

‘I had rather be a door-keeper…

So I stand by the door.


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