Scared out of their minds and trusting no one lots of homeless folks experience a living hell. Kindness is the antidote for hell; so apply it liberally to everyone you see.
After about a year in Humble, Texas I decided it was time to move on. For one thing I was kicked out of the movie theatre at the mall for looking strange and smelling bad. Not that I was in there that much, but at 6’4 and refusing to make eye contact; not to mention the 300 lbs and the grungy clothes, well I tended to stand out.
Like I said I got the guilt’s about taking money from folks but every once in a while if someone gave me a ten or twenty I would indulge myself. I remember the first movie I decided to go see, my line of thinking was this: well since I am going to hell I might as well try and enjoy myself until I get there.
Hell, as I understand it now, is a feeling of being separate from God, so most of us here on earth are in hell, so to speak. I see myself as climbing out of the metaphorical purgatory and back to the pearly gates of heaven which I consider simply to be an open, loving heart or as Christ put it in the Beatitudes: Blessed are those with a pure heart for they shall see God.
The mall and all those people and all that glitter use to scare me pretty good. One thing I found interesting is that a lot of folks form the older generation like to walk around those things for exercise.
The next town I landed in was Brian- College Station home of Texas A&M. That is a stately old Campus with a football field that seats 130,000. You could hear them cheering all over town on game day. The relationship between Texas and football can not be overstated. The high school fields were actually arenas and bigger than most college venues I had encountered up North.
When I got dropped off in town, within my panorama was a Shipley’s Doughnuts, a Half Priced Books and a Kroger’s. All those places allowed for some pretty good dumpster diving. When I saw all that I said, “I am home.”
I was feeling sorry for myself one day, sitting on a bench along a bike path just outside of town. I looked around and saw too young women in running gear discussing whether they were going to walk by me or not. This got my ire up a little bit, they were making assumptions based on appearances. But they were brave and decided to walk my way.
I thought I would teach them a lesson and when they got pretty close, I stood up, put my arms in the air, made my face as crazy as I could and roared like a lion. The look on their faces was priceless and they took off so fast I bet I cut their 100 yard dash time in half. Looking back I wish I wouldn’t have done that, maybe could have a couple of more friends in my life. I am learning not to lash out when I am get my feelings hurt, but I ain’t great at it yet.
You are probably surmising the obvious here. Lots of homeless folks look and smell crazy, but they are human you see, and nothing helps them heal faster than kindness, to know someone cares about them. I bet you feel the same way.
I wrote a couple of Metaphysics about hell, that metaphor for not being at peace. The pitchforks of hell were designed to poke your butt into heaven; and, God has got his hands underneath hell for the people in hell to blow out the flames. Peace, may you realized God is blessing your every breath.
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