At the shelter, they compel us to attend chapel every night. A different group presents each night, following a monthly rotation. Elder Conrad and his group come the second Sunday of each month. In nigh on four years, he’s never said a single thing I felt merited attention.
“[T]he uprising in Ferguson was an inevitable reaction to the institutional racism coursing through the area for decades.” — Jack Kirkland
I’m homeless. At this writing, I’ve been homeless for exactly 3½ years.
When you meet a homeless man for the first time, you won’t notice his skin color. Not first. You’ll notice the condition he’s in. You’ll notice his clothes, his grooming, his conduct. Skin color is so far down the list, it might as well be left off completely.
Some disagree. They seem to think race is the only factor in poverty.
Blogging experts tell us to give our posts dramatic titles. I might not tell the story at all, but on the one hand there is an expectation that (though I seldom do) a homeless blogger will tell about the difficulties homeless people face. On the other hand, it provides occasion for me to set forth William Tell’s current approach to injustice.
The appointed Gospel text for Sunday was Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.
I was struck by verses 11-14 —
11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The shelter boots us out at 5:45 a.m. daily. You must take all your belongings with you and cannot come back until 2:30.
Until February 2013, my custom on non-work days was to go to Dunkin’ Donuts to pray, drink coffee and use the bathroom, until the library would open at 10:00 and I could go online. Then the temp agency closed down, and I could no longer afford Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and so began going to McDonald’s instead.
Some days I would arrive at Dunkin’ Donuts before opening. One such morning, I arrived to find a large, neat pile of human feces on the doorstep. It was clearly no accident. Who had left it there, and why, had no bearing on the fact that it was there now.
When staff arrived we opened the door and stepped inside very carefully to avoid any contact between the door and the stool, or our feet and the stool. However, I knew that if nothing were done about it, eventually, inevitably, customers who could not take the time to be as observant and careful would step in it and begin tracking it through the store. Continue reading The poop on the stoop→
I was a senior in high school, running an errand in the family car. I must have been listening to WKSU. This 5- or 15-minute segment came on. A female spokesperson for the ACLU said that, under the compulsory school attendance law, a minor can only be in one of two places: a school, or a penal facility. In her view there was no real difference.
I was an honors student and deeply convicted that education is the answer to poverty. Thus her remarks left me incensed. More than that, whereas I’ve never been a conservative, it seemed to me that the ACLU and other, like-minded movements were bent on destroying all order in society. The family unit was under attack. Marriage was under attack. The schools were under attack. Change for its own sake, which seemed to be what these people were after, isn’t good. Nothing can be built on a foundation of chaos. A child needs to root oneself in earth that will be in the same place today as tomorrow. A tree can’t grow in quicksand.