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Springtime in this lovely Idaho valley is always a riot of color. Roses and our famous dogwoods are in bud stage right now and I assume the dogwoods will burst open any day now affirming the beauty God gave them.
Springs everywhere, are grand in their own way. I was extremely impressed, even as a hobo, with the wildflowers in the Fort Worth area of Texas. I was a seasoned Hobo, five years on the road, when I arrived in Mansfield a small town outside Fort Worth.
By then I always had enough food, thanks to the many American dumpsters, where we so boldly waste enough food each day to feed millions of folks. I found enough to keep myself well over 300 lbs. That along with my scraggly clothes and seldom showered body left me feeling, and I am sure looking, very pretty indeed.
The south has an all you can eat pizza joint called CiCi’s. Every once in a while if I got a little cash I would go in there and chow down on pizza, soup and salad. One day after about 4 pieces of pizza I had a strange sensation come over me, I was full. I had not felt full since being on the streets. My mind could not believe what my body was telling me, so I just kept wolfing down the food until my stomach was bulging.
My first couple of months as a Hobo was hard living food wise. The idea of dumpster diving did not even occur to me and I had way too much anxiety, and pride, I might add, to go to a church or any organization that might give me some food. I lost a lot of weight in that first month until I checked a McDonald’s dumpster late at night and found a bunch of cheeseburgers, which I scarfed like a hungry hyena who managed to steal a leg quarter from a pride of lions. And I scarfed all the food I found after that until that day in CiCi’s.
This was a long lesson for me that Christ summed up for us, “Do not worry what you shall eat….” It took me that long to learn that God would provide for me, no matter where I was. I am grateful for the lesson.
I organize a Sunday community feed here in town and I like to have an abundance of food on hand. Most hobo feeds have someone serving you and on occasion the portions are small and the people feeding condescending. I let the people serve themselves and take as much as they want.
We have one guy that shows up and everybody gives him crap because he does not give one little bit about anyone behind him in line. He will fill his plate and stuff his pockets with the best stuff he can find. I defend him once in a while and he seems to appreciate that. The point is, if you have food issues, maybe he was starved as a kid who knows; you will do whatever it takes to get your share.
One of the guys at the feed is always really good about helping me clean up. I got the impression he was stealing food one week as a bunch of ham I had him carve seemed to disappear way too quickly. I rarely call anyone out on minor infractions, I mean they know what they are doing. However, last week I told him to take all the leftovers, and I could see him kind of blanche at the guilt of thinking he had to steal it. The ironic thing is, this guy would always bitch to me about the other guy who put food in his pockets.
Pay attention to your judgment of others for they are the keys to your own foibles. That is a Hobo Metaphysic of mine that helps explain why people bitch about people doing the exact same thing they do, they want to hide it from themselves that they are in fact doing it.
Christ asks us not to judge but we do it just the same. Why does he ask us not to judge? Because when we judge we cut off the flow of love to a person who needs it. Judgment also cuts off the flow of love to ourselves. So if you see a hobo in a dumpster or someone who you don’t think should have seconds, going back for thirds; give them a break and send them some love.
Hobo John here. I love you with everything that I have, so why not have some thirds if you want.