…For one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things you possess.” Luke 12:15
America is a country of great material wealth and yet, from my point of view, we are a loved starved country. It is autumn the time of year for feasting, thankfulness, and allowing old patterns to “fall” away; so that we can ferment over winter and be born anew in spring. Unfortunately it is also a time when many people, “fall” apart emotionally.
I had a little emotional crisis of my own recently. I have not actually lived on the streets in a couple of years, although I do quite a bit of hoboing around wherever I find myself. However, I have a tough time relating in regular society. Lots of people pay too much attention to status and money, and don’t really want to have truthful conversations, beyond the weather and other trivial topics. It left me felt a little isolated.
How many people out there secretly or maybe not so secretly, feel lonely? I felt that way in my family for years, still do to a certain extent. We are not ones to go any deeper than polite conversation about politics, books, the weather, anything but something personal. Anytime I said something personal when I was younger everybody just looked really uncomfortable, changed the subject, or discounted what I had to say. Over time I got the impression maybe I was not worth listening to, or that anybody at all could understand me.
However I am starting to express my fears, frustrations, and desires again, it can be almost painful wondering if I will be heard and accepted but in the long run, to not express myself, to remain isolated from those around me is just too painful. I do not want to go through life feeling unconnected and alone.
Anyway, I was watching a movie the other night and I had a couple of interesting thoughts, one being: I am only truly comfortable around homeless people, the other was: being a hobo is all I know.
Is it time for the hobo in me to fall away? I honestly don’t know yet. But it is, for the first time in many years, possible to see myself differently. I am one that takes his time trusting people, but I am starting to feel connected to my family and the community for the first time ever.
When wealth and economic or social status become more important than friendship, community, family… Well, take a look around; we are a bunch of lonely people dying to be loved and accepted as we are. Kindness and affection are rare. Ironically as a Christian nation do we even bother with Christ’s teachings? “Love one another,” was his last commandment. Christ may have assumed wrongly that we naturally love ourselves.
So folks, I am begging you, do not get down on yourself if you do not have a lot of wealth, or much status to speak of. Do not even worry about what you shall drink or what you shall wear, as Christ tells us. Trust me, living on the streets all those years I learned possessions are worth next to nothing in comparison to a strong relationship with God, and a good friends to laugh and cry with.
If you have been wounded deeply by others, risking again with people can bring up a lot of dread. But you never have to dread talking to God, he is always right there, intimately knowing your ever thought and emotion. In him you can trust. But also find a human being to grow close to.
Concentrate on building loving relationships in your families and communities. Trust me it can be difficult, especially with families, but to be connected at the heart with many people, even one person, is a precious gift and will save your life.
Here are a few quotes from Christ telling us not what is right and morally good to do, but what will bring us true happiness and joy:
Love your enemies.
Do good to those who hate you.
Pray for those who spitefully use you.
Lend, hoping for nothing in return.
Give (love), and it will be given to you : good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom(heart).
I will add this Hobo Metaphysic: It is not who you are, or what you are, but only that you are.
Hobo John here, need a friend? You have one in me. I love you with everything that I have. That is my mantra, my motto and the truth of things.