I lost any sense of normalcy during this past summer. The only thing that was even close to being normal was waking up each day, but even that didn’t happen on any sort of standard timetable. Before you ask, no. Going to bed didn’t bring about normalcy, because sometimes I would pass out in the rocking chair or on the couch or on the floor while other nights I might actually make it all the way to the bed.

All early morning and late nights aside, I lost any normalcy I once clung to while serving the homeless in Birmingham, Ala. this summer. Most days, if I wasn’t running errands all day, I went to Linn Park, a place where a number of homeless people spent their days. Some days, I would film. Other days, I’d just sit with them, talk, and play chess. Maybe we’d talk about the weather. Maybe we’d talk about Jesus. There were days when I walked a mile with a homeless pastor in the rain to get to the shoe repair stop. When the clergy came by on Wednesdays, I’d talk to some of the priests if they thought I was “worthy” enough to be talked to. A couple days, I walked to a restaurant or some other venue with a homeless person, just to find air conditioning (or food).

When I woke up each morning, I never had a plan. Schedules and plans provide a sense of normalcy but don’t allow for adventures. They don’t give room for the Spirit to move and dictate what you’re going to do next. So I ditched normalcy and let “as the Spirit leads” become my new normal.