As different as night and day
July 6 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

As different as night and day | Friday, July 6, 2001

Friday, July 6, 2001

As different as night and day

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor On Monday night prior to the Southern Baptist Convention's opening session in New Orleans, the French Quarter was quieter than in Mardi Gras season, but still bustling with crowds of eager partygoers clad in colorful beads, carrying large cups of alcoholic brew down Bourbon Street. Mixed among them were hundreds of Baptists trying to appear inconspicuous, but given away by their neat dress and absence of portable beverages. On Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m., the streets were quiet and largely deserted, populated by piles of plastic cups and flocks of foraging pigeons. The street sweeper had made one pass, but failed to eliminate the unmistakable odor of beer that has been recycled through the human body.

Street people and over-imbibers who couldn't find their way home snored from park benches and doorways, undisturbed by the soft thumping of my jogging feet. Most park benches in the Big Easy are backless creations made of round iron bars, either sharply curved or crowned in the middle to discourage the sleepers, who curl their bodies to fit the curve, or sleep spread-eagled over the crown.

In a side-street doorway a man sleeps in dirty black pants and a stained orange shirt. He wears one sock and uses his track shoes, covered by a piece of newspaper, for a pillow. For two straight days I puff past his street-side boudoir. For two days I ask myself, "Why is he there?" And then I ask, "Why don't I just wake him up and buy him breakfast and ask him?"

But I'm always in a hurry. I have to get dressed, lug my laptop and camera to the Superdome, and keep up with what's taking place at the SBC's annual meeting.

The theme for the week has to do with curing our nation's ills through evangelism and building stronger families.

The prodigal brother on the doorstep sleeps on.

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7/6/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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