30 Years and 4000 Miles Later


On November 16, 1986, my dad took me to see the Atlanta Falcons play the reigning Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. I remember the excitement of that day like no other.

But one thing stood out as we drove through a rough area of the big city. I saw my first-ever homeless man passed out cold just off the sidewalk. Was he dead and did anybody care? That image has stuck with me ever since.

30 years later and 4,000 miles to the northwest, I see a very similar scene as I drive to work every day. Numerous homeless people are passed out or milling around in parking lots, on sidewalks and in yards.


I recently heard someone explain that homelessness is not simply the loss of a roof over your head, but rather it is a result of losing key relationships. The loss of those relationships result in no one to fall back on when life comes crashing in on you.

As I encounter broken people from broken relationships I try to remember behind every hopeless situation there is a story. Most likely it is a story of hurt, abuse and shame involving a mom, a dad, a sister, a brother or a friend.

So as we pass these people on the corner at the next red light, let’s remember what they have lost . . .


Published by Arctic Travelogue

We are Southerns by birth, but spent the last 12 years living and working in Alaska with SEND North. We've now relocated to the Lower 48 to continue our ministry. Join us here as we explore what it means to have an expanded worldview, and find some opportunities to become involved!

One thought on “30 Years and 4000 Miles Later

  1. I think I went to that same exact game believe it or not. I don’t recall much, much less the image that you remember. But I do recall later in life at a Braves game where I saw a homeless man holding a sign that read: “I ain’t gonna lie. I need money for a beer.” I appreciated the honesty. As I continue to experience life as an empathetic human, your words become more and more real to me. There are people all around us, that we can love and support and encourage, that we can hope and try to make a difference in their lives, when there is no one else for them. I really appreciate your perspective of the brokenness they have experienced. I always try to think that they could be me if it wasn’t for the love and support I have been given. I am especially drawn to those around me who are struggling and on the brink and I look for ways to love them and hopefully help them, without enabling them. I fall so short so often, but your insights are certainly encouraging. Thanks Steven!


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