As I grow in understanding the culture of the kids of Haight St., I see more and more that they are better known as ‘drifters’, ‘nomads’, and ‘pilgrims’ than they are just plain homeless. They don’t feel at home in America. They are looking for something different.
And know this: their way of life and culture is closer to Abraham’s, Moses’, and Jesus and his disciples’ lives than the stationary, wealthy, individualistic, and (boring?) culture of the majority of Western Chrisitanity.
“…having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11: 13-16
It is easier to convert someone to your own culture, and then introduce them to the Kingdom of God than it is to start with Jesus. “Therefore let us go to him (jesus on the margins?) outside the camp (mainstream culture?) and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:13-14