In the dark corners of the inner city, the most destitute people in society are searching for anything to numb their hurting souls. And there are some who display the most extreme mix of need and anticipation: the twenty-piece shuffle, a jittery walk marked by wide-eyed desperation, named after the street tag for a piece of crack cocaine.
But the addiction to whatever will numb a troubled spirit is not confined to the streets. Suffering is not bound by social class, and pain is not held at bay by white-picket fences. In a wealthy society that equates money with happiness, we often remain unaware of our own addictions -- the things we chase to sooth our spirits. And while our need may not be as visible, it is no less real.
Greg Paul believes that the rich, the impoverished, and everyone in between can learn much from each other if they're willing to walk together. Join Greg as he takes a look at a remarkable paradox, where the poor can miss their blessedness while the wealthy overlook their own desperate needs, and reveals why God has always called the wealthy and powerful to care for people who are poor or excluded.
Homeless, poor, addicts, prostitutes, abusers of all sorts these are folks most of us studiously avoid, much less befriend. Yet Paul (God in the Alley) sees God in all of them and shares that spiritual sight in his second book. The lessons are deep and numerous, including the startling notion that the rich are "barely conscious of their deep poverty" while the poor "generally have little sense of their blessedness, the amazing gifts they have to share with people who appear to them to already have it all." Paul strips away facades as he reveals some of the gifts he's received from the people at Sanctuary Ministries in downtown Toronto: understanding his own addictions to impregnability and independence, discerning the difference between fruitfulness and productivity, and gaining a new thankfulness and a deeper understanding of suffering. This is no theoretical study of the results of poverty or a political statement. It's a gritty look at individuals who reached out and changed Paul's life. It's ugly, scary and depressing at times, but honest and well-written from page one.