While I waited in line at St. Anthony's for lunch I kept seeing people I always see in the church. It always took them a second to recognize me. I would wave hi, they would kind of stare at me for a second, and then realize it was me, and then wave back. All of them would then come up to me, very concerned, and ask what I was doing. I found myself saying the same thing to them: "I want to see what it is like to live on the streets for a week to see how I can better help in the church." I always got a positive response when I would say this; but I would feel weird telling them that.
"True charity requires courage: Let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need." - Pope Francis.
I was reflecting on this quote and realized why I had been feeling the way I was feeling. I assumed that me agreeing to live on the streets for seven days was me overcoming my fear of getting my "hands dirty". But I was wrong. I hadn't overcome my fear; especially after experiencing my first night, I was still scared. I wasn't overcoming my fear; my fear was growing. All I could think about was where I was going to be able to rest next, where I was going to be able to use the bathroom next, when I was going to be able to eat next, how I was going to sleep that night. I hated that the Sanctuary of the Tenderloin was closed.