The streets are tough. Nobody gives everything is taken. People help but always with one hand ready to protect should someone try to take advantage of the appearance of vulnerability. We know the strong survive, the weak are consumed. We accept that only the fittest make it.

There is nothing wrong with being tough. Wearing a label that I am strong, fit, and a survivor comes with assumptions. Those on the street are there because they have learned what it takes to survive in a mean world. Street fighters may look calm, cool, and collected yet we know that in the dark moments of the night they are able to take on adversaries in ways that we choose not to know or imagine. What do we actually think happens at night? It is a prayer society with everyone talking through the differences that he and she holds close to their heart? We know the close circuit TV cameras do not deter crime. How do street fighters survive?

In the cold of winter London streets are dark, windy, and bitter. The artic wind has consumed the smells and what one is left with is a harsh reality that is prepared to cut through defenses with a razor sharp knife. Nobody really talks about what goes on in the back alleys around the Spitafield Market or the edges of Brick Lane. Few admit that the Ripper’s streets are alive as in those centuries ago. Drift through the dark shadows and you are in a Victorian novel as easily as you are in the present.

We may not know but God is engaged with us exactly where we are. Good, bad, beautiful, and ugly, God is working to restore each to their created potential. There are those who will not turn from the dark side. In these cases, God is also preparing “to bring judgment against them all, convicting each person of every defiling act of shameless sacrilege, of every dirty word they have spewed of their pious filth.” (Jude 1.15)

It’s a mean world out there. Be careful.

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