Tag Archives: McDonald’s #2763

The inevitability of evil

Sooner or later, it had to happen.

Sunday, about 14:00, I had just bought my second coffee at McDonald’s.  I put it on my table and, as they require me to do, took all my things with me to go out and smoke.

Related:  Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

Outside, I took one more shot at trying to understand how evil — negativity, conflict — happens.

There are those who say that evil is necessary because without it, humans would never be able to appreciate joy.  I have never found this believable.
Continue reading The inevitability of evil

Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

  UPDATES APPEAR IN THE COMMENTS.  

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.

It will also let me model the principles of Free Speech Handbook.

This concerns an incident of October 7, 2014.
Continue reading Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

Life in the outer darkness

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.”

— in that, last Tuesday at McDonald’s, I’m the one who got thrown into the outer darkness.
Continue reading Life in the outer darkness

Where trees thrive, people thrive

This thinking goes back to 1973.

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.

Continue reading Where trees thrive, people thrive

Man’s name change dramatically improves job hunt

Bookmarks:
Man’s name change dramatically improves job huntJamarion Lawhorn updateAn astonishing crimeExceptional horoscopes update 2014-09-29She’s cute.Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

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All stressed up and nowhere to “go”

Monday 09/30/13

Yesterday, as usual, after church Vladimir and I went to the McDonald’s at Baltimore and Light Streets, to drink coffee and study. Time came when both of us needed to use the bathroom. The floor outside was flooded, and a sign on the door said, “Out of order. Sorry. 😦 ”

It remains out of service today.
Continue reading All stressed up and nowhere to “go”

What the New Testament means to me

This exchange occurred at Messiah Truth:

MT 3

The New Testament equips me to love All.

On the one hand, one who diligently lives as Jesus taught eventually reaches a point where loving All is not merely a possibility, but a responsibility. I am at that point now.

On the other hand, loving All of necessity entails loving situations, events and people one might much more easily abhor.

1 Corinthians 12 applies to the need to love one’s whole self.  We are acquainted with an individual who finds one feature of himself, or rather of his story, so abhorrent that he preoccupies himself with it, until the self-hatred becomes unbearable; at which point he lashes out.  I wrote “A short route to agony” with that person specifically in mind.

In 1978, I applied through the United Methodist Church Board of Global Ministries to become a missionary to Japan; I would teach English at a Japanese Christian high school.  As part of this process, they required me to read William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.  I hated it.  For the most part, it was a typical 1970’s radical screed, blaming America for every single problem that exists in the world.  One point stuck with me, however.  Stringfellow opines that the Kingdom never does or will manifest in any permanent or worldwide basis; the Kingdom instead appears here and there, now and then, in a community that honors the gifts of its each and every member.

1 Corinthians 12 applies equally here.  I belong to “A real church in a real ’hood.”  We are diligent and intentional about being that sort of community.  Now, I have learning opportunities here: even though I am homeless myself, it is easy for me to look down on “the critters and the crazies” whom I meet at McDonald’s.  Birur nitzotzot relates: evangelism entails facilitating each person’s discovery of his or her own way to shine.

In the Parable of the Great Dinner, the master directs his servant:

“‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.'”

In the Kingdom, there are no outcasts.  Everyone has a place at the table.

(Originally posted 2014-09-24.)

A simple lesson

(Originally posted June 22, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 2014-09-10.)

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Continue reading A simple lesson

Out of reach

From my diary:

Thursday  2014-06-19.  13:30.  In a recent column, Dan Rodricks mentioned Manna House, which I’d never heard of before.  At McD this morning, Roy was talking to somebody and mentioned having been at Manna House last night — “with the critters and the crazies.”  I was quite surprised to hear him talk like that, since in my book, he’s “a critter and a crazy.”  The people who frequent that place must be really bad off.  I would recall [a former therapist, whose principal practice was in addictions]‘s saying, when I asked many years ago about the mentally ill among the homeless, that “they’re so sick they can’t be treated.”  Part of my heart reaches out to them; can it be that I might sink so low as to become able to see the world as they see it?  What does the Gospel look like to a hopeless schizophrenic?

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My cup runneth over

Friday, May 16, 2014. There were a number of events at McD this morning that normally would have distracted me, and did not.  This suggests that presence is becoming habitual — as is focus on my goals.  But there may be more involved.

Roy and Jimmy sat in a booth near me, and Roy was complaining that the clothes they give him at the clothes window at the shelter aren’t always the right size.  He also, to my amazement, complained about the food.  I answered him silently, “If you were focused on advancing your own situation, you wouldn’t be concerned about those things.”

In the past, it has been a powerful distraction to me (scandal, offense) that so many men around me have no interest in improving their lives.
Continue reading My cup runneth over