Nights on the Street by Toby M.

Nights on the Street by Toby M.

     When my sister and I were little, we lived on the streets with my dad. Mom drank all the time and we kept been asked to leave our apartment. So one day Dad just gathered up some clothes in our school backpacks and we started hiking south to get to some other town or city. People usually gave us rides because we were small, I think.

     Dad got odd jobs doing construction or maintenance. There were always churches and other places that would give us food. We ate a lot of sandwiches. We were homeless for almost the whole school year.

     The bad times happened at night. Sometimes we were lucky and could find a safe place to sleep. More often, we would be woke by police or people trying to steal from us and we would move. Dad always said we were on our way to our grandparents on the Rez so the police would not take us.  When we could we just hid from the police. I remember lots of time when Dad woke us up and told us to hide. It was scary. We would hide behind things like trash bins or in alleys. I was afraid of rats or other things that would live in the dark.

     Later when Dad got a job and we lived in a new town in a small mobile home, I would remember the nights when I was so scared. A new friend who was in the Spirit Journey Youth group gave me this prayer that he used when he was upset.  They wrote it as a group. I still have a copy.

     “O Holy One, who loves all those who aren’t loved by anyone else, hear the prayers of those who cry out. Be with us who are upset by fears, troubled by poverty, worn down by illness and bothered with punishments. Do not let us be forgotten or abandoned.  Keep us safe. Amen.

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