And seeking courage.
BK keeps the TV tuned to CNN.
On Sundays, Fareed Zakaria’s GPS comes on when I’m there in the mornings before church, and is rebroadcast when I’m there in the afternoons after church.
His voice makes me feel anxious. Continue reading Fareed Zakaria
This is an unscheduled post.
The letter copied below from Carolyn Hax’s column for today just blew me away, as pertinent to current posts on the topic of presence. A lifestyle of presence is very much out of synch with contemporary American culture, and is seen by those who don’t understand it as selfish and irresponsible. The letter I’m quoting here epitomizes what’s likely to happen when you “keep the focus on you” and “mind your own business” — and deal with others who have no intention of doing either one.
Continue reading Attack of the needy people
|<– Home||2) Give up the word “deserve.” –>|
… exactly what the poor need to do for themselves.
On the one hand, I will shortly dispel the notion that wealth means you don’t have the same needs.
On the other hand, unless you do these things for yourself, you’ll never understand what they need to do for themselves — the what, the how, the challenges, the work. Absent that, there’s no way you can possibly make yourself useful or helpful to them.
I respond to the first paragraph only. Nothing else. The first paragraph.
Beans and rice are nothing to despise.
I first applied for food stamps in 2004. I had had a professional career for 25 years, and for three generations not one member of my family had ever been subject to any form of “welfare.” Now I sat in a 40-by-40 lobby full of people, filling out the forms. Assets: –0–. Bank balance: –0–. Income: –0–. And I wept. I cried like a baby.
A sister-in-law, an #immigrant, responded to this news by waging a campaign for the family to disown me. She would later tell her husband she did not want to be married to a man whose brother receives food stamps. To my family’s credit, her campaign failed. I’ve been through tons of difficulty, and to their credit, my blood kin have never left me.
Beans and rice are nothing to despise.
In my current world as a homeless man, I deal with many, many people who persevere in need BECAUSE they despise every single blessing God provides. My only hope, currently an active hope, to improve my own lot, rests in being GRATEFUL for every blessing God provides.
Beans and rice, for example.
So, here we go: Poor people, listen up! Just in case you DON’T despise every single blessing God provides, it’s OK.
#Liberals like @Arthur Delaney stand ever-ready to despise it FOR you.
Miscellaneous notes about accepting bad feelings.
[Second in a series.]
One afternoon some years back, I hooked up with my bud Brian Williard at the Light Street McDonald’s. We were there for maybe half an hour, and then set out eastbound on Baltimore Street towards the shelters where we stayed. I stay at one, and he stayed at another about 100 yards farther east.
We walked and talked, and he talked, and he talked, and a lot of what he talked about wasn’t necessarily of much interest to me. It came to me: “I’m doing ministry; he needs this.” Finally, he said, “It’s such a relief to talk to somebody sane.”
My response to Sunday’s sermon — and another event, after church — surprised me, and seemed to affirm that self-love is indeed the beginning of creation.
The sermon text was from Luke 18:
Three incidents from Sunday 09/18:
(1) I caught the racial vibe as soon as she came in the room.
(2) In the middle of worship, I looked at my situation. I needed to touch base sometime during the service with _____, _____ and _____, any of whom might give me cash; for smokes, bus fare and candy. I also needed to touch base sometime during worship with each of three other people ISO a ride “home.” My petty, material, selfish neediness so preoccupied me, I couldn’t get into the spirit of worship at all. This did not feel good.
(3) At the shelter, in the shower, for a washcloth they gave me a strip of fabric that had been torn from a towel, two inches wide and six inches long. That was to be my washcloth.
I responded as follows.