Sunday, 7 April 2013

Under The Overpass

New book time! I started reading Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. If you haven't heard of this book, I will give you a basic rundown. Mike and a friend of his feel called to experience true trust in God and gain a better understanding of homelessness in America. So Mike and his friend Sam spend five months going moving from five different cities to see if their faith in God was real- if they are the christians they claim to be outside of their comfort zones.

I am at the point in the book where they have completed their first month in Denver and have begun their journey in Washington DC. I am finding it hard to write about this book, mainly for the fact that it doesn't really state opinions or newer concepts often. There are some things however that stood out to me that I will make note of in this PCR.

First thing that I want to say is how impressed I am with their faith thus far. It's incredible! How many of us would willingly choose to live on the streets for 5 months? I know I would have a hard time with that one. What I like the most though is how they rely on God for their everyday needs. Thinking about my life and how I can get food when I want, how I want, and whatever I want (mostly), and then comparing it to a person living on the streets who has no idea when their next meal is, there is quite a substantial difference! When Mike is talking about this on page 58, I thought of the Bible verse from Romans 15:13:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"

Another thing I really enjoyed was Mikes thoughts on 'mercy' on pages 61-62. At this point in the book, Mike and Same are panhandling and watching people pass by without even a glance at them. Mike is starting to get upset with the fact nobody is showing them mercy and then he says:
"I felt my frustration rising until I realized how unentitled I really was. No one deserves mercy. And no one walking by owed us a dime. Mercy is, by definition, undeserved, or else it isn't mercy.
Every coin in  the case looked different after that."-Pg 62 

Why I liked this so much was because of a recent intercity experience I had with my classmates. We lived on the floor of a homeless shelter for a week, and we were complaining a LOT ! (not all of us, mainly me). And usually our complaints were about how/what we were being served or that the floor hurt our backs and that it was cold. But also a minute after, I would feel so awful for complaining because it could be so much worse. Yes I woke up cold, but at least I was inside and not out in the snow. No that was not the most tasty meal ever, but at least I was blessed with a meal! So when Mike had that realization the money he was given was undeserved and merciful, I connected with him because I had realizations like that a lot during my week at the shelter.

I am finding myself truly enjoying this book and the connections I have been able to make since i've been on the Inter City Experience trip. The author's story is so intriguing and the lessons learnt are worthwhile to keep for your own life and experiences.

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. The book is more story than theory compared to some of the books we read, but it still offers some questions/ideas to consider. Do you think Mike's plan is a good idea? Is there another way he can learn and grow? What are Mike and Sam learning about poverty?

    Your Bible reference to Romans is fine, but how is it connected? Explain/develop the connection.

    Good level of detail on the section about mercy which includes explanation and personal connection.