Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.
Rough day at BK. I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all. But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave. (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined. I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.
The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.
Today as usual I bought my first coffee, set it down at my table, left all my things there in the booth, and went out for a smoke. I reflected on how different this is from how things were at McDonald’s. At McD, if I stepped out to smoke, they required me to take all my things with me. I could not leave anything inside.
Well, here at BK, it is safe to leave my things unattended. At McD, it was not.
I stayed longer than usual at BK today. About a dozen customers came in who belong to a different population. In their presence, suddenly my possessions no longer felt safe. Maybe it was their body language; maybe it was their dark auras. If I were to go to the bathroom, I’d need to take all my things into the bathroom with me. And I was ashamed of myself for feeling this way.[*]
I’d just bought my second coffee. I was going to still be there a while. I asked myself, “What business do I have among these people?”
The same business Jesus had among the same people: to love them; to be light among them; to emanate a spirit of order, hope and joy. To speak and act accordingly.
As I walked down Aisquith Street, here were two men standing twenty feet apart shouting obscenities at each other. I paused and observed and saw that, in their world, this was a civil exchange. Their world can be better.
I got to the shelter and about thirty guys were in line waiting admission — guys I like, guys I don’t like, and a couple newcomers with dark auras. I set about loving them all.
[*]A later post will focus on exactly this.