Susanna Leonard Hill switched to Disqus, a global comment system that was supposed to improve discussion on her blog.
Ha! The system gave me the boot, leaving me to hang out on the fringe in the blogo-sphere. I begged Susanna to let me back in. Then by some miracle, her system opened a portal, and I was allowed back into the fold.
How could a computer program leave such a bitter taste on my tongue? But it did. Now, for some bizarre reason I’m back hanging out on the fringe.
Can you even begin to imagine how the dispossessed men and women in our society feel? The faceless men and women cast aside like stray dogs. The men and women who suffer from mental illness, addicted to drugs and alcohol, the ones subjected to sexual abuse. The illiterate who can’t hold down a job. The reasons vary, but the sad truth is these men and women are the ignored.
Then last Thursday, hubby and I had the privilege of meeting some of those faceless men and women.
You see, we’d been invited to the launch party of The Warehouse Mission Band’s second CD —Backstreet Showdown.
So on a dreary and rainy night, hubby and I climbed three flights of stairs to get out of the rain, and we stumbled into a backstreet showdown in the heart of Cabbagetown.
I craned my neck and peered into the jam-packed hall. Balloons adorned caramel-colored brick walls. Faux, stained-glass sheets slapped windows. Not what I’d expected.
Bright lights shone down on beaming faces. Faces filled with renewed hope and purpose, and all thanks to Captain’s Ron and Linda Farr who run The Warehouse Mission.
Those men and women, brought into the fold, scurried about serving platters of delectable finger foods while a stringed trio stroked violins off in a corner.
Captain Ron, garbed in blue jeans and an indigo-colored shirt bearing the Salvation Army’s crest, was a jumble of nerves. Mid-way through reading an introduction for the Encore String Trio, he asked the principal violinist, Bill Wong, “What does PTO stand for?”
Bill cleared his throat. “It means please turn over the page.
Andre, the artistic director, hammered steel drums, and led his merry band in renditions of “Rainforest,” “Little Sunflower,” and “Clocks” by Coldplay, rounding out the set with foot stomping calypso music.
The cake-cutting ceremony came next.
My heart crumbled when Bev sliced the cake she lovingly prepared.
While folks munched on moist, chocolate cake, Captain Ron, Greg Huber, and Krys Val strummed guitars and belted out —“Come in Outta the Rain,” “Hey Elevator!” “Salvation Riders,” and “Out on Main Street”—just four of fourteen tunes from their awesome CD —Backstreet Showdown.
After the performance, I scrambled to the back of the room, purchased the CD, and then hounded them for autographs. Then I chased “Slow Down” Howard Lackey, head of the road crew, who moves at the speed of lightning. Although he signed the CD, I wasn’t able to snap a photo. Next time, Howard. 🙂
The highlight of the evening for me came later when I had an opportunity to meet a few members of The Warehouse Mission Community. With open arms, they welcomed me into the fold. I cocked an ear and choked back tears, attentive to tragic stories.
But I’m pleased to report these lives are changed. Yes, they still live on the fringe, eking out an existence, but they’re now contributing members of Cabbagetown. They are the faces, shining brightly, on a hill up on the third floor of The Warehouse Mission.
“A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matt. 5:14a
For a nominal fee, you can download a copy of The Warehouse Mission Band’s CD —–Backstreet Showdown.
All proceeds help support the Literacy Program, and the Life Skills and Seniors Programs.