Saturday, September 12, 2009

All Things New

Yesterday afternoon Jessica and I snuck down to Union Square while Sue was taking a nap. Jessica wanted to try to find a particular pair of Burkenstocks and we remembered there was a store on Stockton Street near Union Square. Turns out the store was closed last year during the recession.

We rode downtown on the N Judah. The conductor stopped the train in one of the underground tunnels and we were stuck there for about a half hour. Some drunk guy had wandered into the tunnel and fallen asleep right by the tracks. It took about 25 police officers and MUNI officials to sort it out. Meanwhile, they shut down the N Judah, so we had to walk to the nearest MUNI station and get on a different MUNI to get to Powell Street (Union Square).

It was a nice father-daughter outing. We went into the big shopping mall on Market (something Plaza, I can never remember the name of the place even though I've been there a dozen times) and bought a few things: some Vera Bradley note cards for Sue (in case she ever feels well enough to write some notes); some scented Bath and Body Works hand gels (mmmm, nectarine mint, my favorite).

There are a lot of stores selling a lot of pretty and shiny new things in San Francisco. There are also a lot of people here who can afford all that stuff. Pretty people dressed to the nines. People who drive B-Mers (BMWs), Lexuses and Mercedes Benzes. On the other hand, there are a lot of homeless and down and out people who can't afford a cup of coffee. Well, the good kind of coffee, anyway. You know, the kind Bruce Porter insists on having. The kind of which there's a plethora in the City.

You see these down and out people all over. At night or in the morning, and sometimes during the day, you see them rolled up in blankets on the sidewalk, blocking the doorways to stores and houses, sitting or sleeping in the parks. You see them coming into and out of the emergency room at the UCSF medical center in ambulances with their grubby, bearded, unwashed faces and their ragged clothes. Wow, such a contrast between the haves and have nots.

There was a pretty good thunder storm here last night, and a fair amount of rain. We're still getting some rain today. I'm sure the rain is a hard thing for the homeless people to deal with. But it washed the City down, watered all the plants, refreshed and renewed the City.

It's a mystery how, even amidst the glitz and allure of non-life-giving things, and amidst the decay of live's gone astray, and amidst the decaying and water starved land, and amidst those who are suffering from chronic illnesses and conditions, God is constantly making things new again -- refreshing, restoring, filling us up with pure, life sustaining water.

Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

P.S. Sue isn't feeling as good today as she did yesterday or the day before. But her numbers are up considerably. Her white blood count jumped from .2 to .9. Her ANC jumped from .1 two days ago (no measurement from yesterday) to .59 today!!! This means she is no longer in the critically neutropenic stage (ANC below .5). Indeed, He does make all things new, though we don't always understand the process.


  1. Im so glad that Jessica got to come up and spend time with both you and Sue. Sounds like it was good for you all. The process is hard but glad the new numbers are looking up.
    Lifting you up in prayer.

  2. Sounds good! Thanks for all your writing! So glad Jessica could visit! My prayers are with you all!

  3. Bruce Porter - Not trying to be anonymous - I'm not that mysterious - just can't figure out how to post on this site with my name at the top. We're praying for you guys every day! And just for the record, I don't insist on having "expensive" coffee - just good coffee. I rarely buy coffee from a coffee shop when I can get a whole pound of beans for what two cups of coffee would cost in the coffee shop.

  4. Larry Martens. Great to read your post today. It was encouraging to hear the good news about the numbers. Glad that Jessica could join you. It has been a challenging time, but as you point out Revelations reminds of us that God does new things. It is a reminder also of the prophet Isaiah (chapter 41 - 42:9. Set in a time of huge challenge God assures Israel of his presence (41:10) and his power to bring about radical change in the middle of huge obstacles (the rest of the chapter), and the reassuring news that he will do something entirely new in the face of huge odds (42:9). Powerful stuff from a powerful God. Kathleen and I continue to remember you and Sue and your family in our prayers.