Do you remember Monte Python? There was a movie... And Now For Something Completely Different!
Well, that describes this book. It is something that is very real and at the same exact time it is heart wrenching and heart warming. That's the only way I can describe it. The press release calls it gritty and graceful. I agree with that.
Taylor Field, a Princeton graduate, has lived and worked in New York’s inner city since 1986 and previously written nonfiction. He won Outreach magazine’s Best Outreach Resource of 2003 award in the Testimony/Biography category for his second book, Mercy Streets.
You can find more at the Squat website
You can buy the book at Amazon
I took the opportunity to ask Bro. Taylor a question or three...
I can tell from all I've read that God is first in your life. What didyou learn about God while you were writing this book? How has that impacted your life since?
Taylor: I learned how precious each moment is. One American writer once said, “You see the most of life through the smallest windows.” While I spent time in quiet, remembering the people who lived in one abandoned building and have already died, I realized again how special each moment with each person is. If beauty really is reality seen through the eyes of love, then even the difficult times that people went through here can be seen as beautiful.
This realization has made me, on my better days, savor what God has given us more than I did before.
Could you tell me and my readers how things have changed since the 80's in your neighborhood? Things like attitudes of the homeless and theattitudes of those who walk around them...
We have moved from the old-time phrase “ghetto” to a new situation—“a tale of two cities.” On one side of our church is a building which was formally a “squat.” The group of people who live there were formally squatters and slowly, with much hard work, they are renovating the building. On the other side of the church are luxury apartments. The church is in between them. This is the new situation in many urban areas now—people who have very little right next to people who have a great deal.
It has got to be so hard to keep going when there is so muchhopelessness felt around you. Would you share with us some of thehope-filled things that have kept you going for over 15 years in thisministry to the hope-less-filled people?
Our new servant-deacon used to shoot up on the roofs of Harlem. One of our most anointed teachers used to sleep on a park bench. One of our most faithful leaders had two parents who were drug dealers and she had been involved with drugs, too. Thinking of the resurrection power in these people’s lives keeps me going.
What a wonderful thing to be living with miracles every day!