I enjoy hanging out with the so called rabble and societies ilk. They are some of my favorite people. “Blessed are the poor for they are rich in spirit.”
I sat down across from a full plate and empty chair. This was at the Salvation Army nightly feed.
Well eventually this older fellow shows up to fill the chair and eat the food. He is a handsome devil if a little short. He has a full head of grey hair(lucky bastard) and keeps it closely cropped. He was also wearing a pair of thick black suspenders like my granddad used to wear. He had a belt full of pouches, but declined to tell me what was in them.
“What have you been up to,” I asked. Well he wasn’t having any of that. Evidentially people have been critical of him in the past and he was not going to say anything that might produce some advice from me.
I told him I was fine just sitting there. Well eventually he started talking, rambling actually. The man may have some kind of thought disorder, because the conversation was fluid to say the least.
Turns out he is 78 and I may be mistaken but I believe I have seen him on a bike around town a time or two. When he was 12 his dad took him from Wyoming to Montana and dropped him there. From what I could tell he spent the rest of his youth in foster care.
I mentioned it might have been kind of tough being abandoned like that, and he admitted I might have been speaking the truth there. He says everybody he talks too tells him how he should have done things differently with his life. Ain’t that just like us, our lives are out of order so we want to rearrange everybody else’s.
I didn’t get much about his later years, but he did go missing from the army a couple of times and received a court marshal, which I did not hold against him. You get abandoned like that, well it can leave a very deep scar to where you just don’t trust anybody.
After dinner I gave him a big hug and some pats on the back, which he seemed to like quite a bit. We are so used to not touching each other that when we do, well it is like heaven.
“It is intended to teach the people to rely on the government for all its needs.” That is an astute quote from Susan Knowles who also writes for this site. She was referring to the President’s free college plan. We have social ills and it ain’t the governments job to do something about it, it is ours.
Now when I get rich and famous I plan on having a string of homeless shelters across the country, but until then I am a participator.
I paint at the homeless day shelter in town. Go to ballgames and act the fool; dancing to the pep band and yelling at the ref’s, so much so a couple of close friends won’t sit with me when they see me getting riled up. I go to city and county political meetings and all sorts of workshops and readings around town. I also attend the local Unity church and drop in on some others on occasion.
That is how to build community folks and a sense of belonging. Too often we let our political and social differences keep us at odds with each other.
Now nobody is more under attack in today’s culture than a conservative Christian. So next time you find yourself at the receiving end of some clever liberal barb, respond with Christ’s kindness, I guarantee you it will spoil their fun.
This may sound like treason, but I have a lot of liberal friends (including my momma a retired social worker), gay friends, and atheists too. Makes me happy to feel connected to a lot of different folks. You want a safe vibrant community? Build one, the government sure as hell isn’t going to do it for you. “Love one another.”
On a personal level, if you are kind to someone on a consistent basis, especially if nobody has been truly kind to them in the past. Well it can change how they see themselves for the better. I have seen it work too many times to not believe it.
“For God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Find somebody you don’t like, hell, they may be sitting in your living room, and be kind to them, see what transpires.