Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Could hell be any hotter, good news any sweeter?
Just left the Corner where the temperature on my Jeep read 111.
If hell is hotter, I don't want to go!
The crowd of neighbors at the Corner was the largest to date.
Everyone was hot and thirsty.
Wendy, my friend, rushed me as I got out of my car wanting to know if I had the papers needed to get a copy of her birth certificate. We've been working on this project for a while. If you've lost all of the documents proving you are who you say you are, how to you move forward?
Without the papers I can see how I might begin to think that in fact I'm nobody.
I worked down the list on the papers that I received from the state that instructed her as to what she would need since she had no documents proving who she was. It is complicated. No one could do this alone, including me. Reality for the poorest of the poor.
Attitudes out on the Corner amaze me.
A smiling white dude in a cowboy hat walked up, shook my hand and replied to my inquiry as to how he was doing saying, "If I was any better, I couldn't stand it!"
He then begin to talk about his faith and his walk with God.
I thought of the church folk who are so quick to ask me if any "ministry" takes place in our work.
I'd say it does.
Except it's the homeless poor ministering to me, every single time.
At one point as I looked across the red hot pavement of Malcolm X Boulevard, I spotted a homeless black man assisting a blind, Latino man to the bus stop. Community defined by compassion.
Preaching broke out when Robert, a regular at the Corner, told the story of Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery.
"'Who among you is without sin?' is what Jesus asked," the street preacher said. "And everybody started mumbling and finally said, 'I'll catch y'all tomorrow.'"
"Yep," I replied, "they all started dropping rocks!"
"My favorite story, my very, most favorite!" Robert said.
Ice cold water,
Someone to simply pat my back, tell me that I matter and urge me to be careful. Sincere thank yous tossed back into your heart.
Good news, in a very limited way, but good news just the same to the poverty in all of us.