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.
He might take me to some unknown location,
and zap out on me, and I’d become a statistic.
This morning at Dunkin’ Donuts, about 8:45 I stood in line with my arms crossed behind my back, clenching a $5 bill in my left hand. It occurred to me that at McDonald’s, only 100 yards away, I’d never do that. If I did that at McDonald’s, someone would surely snatch the bill and run.
Blogging experts tell us to give our posts dramatic titles. I might not tell the story at all, but on the one hand there is an expectation that (though I seldom do) a homeless blogger will tell about the difficulties homeless people face. On the other hand, it provides occasion for me to set forth William Tell’s current approach to injustice.
The appointed Gospel text for Sunday was Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.
I was struck by verses 11-14 —
11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”
I was a senior in high school, running an errand in the family car. I must have been listening to WKSU. This 5- or 15-minute segment came on. A female spokesperson for the ACLU said that, under the compulsory school attendance law, a minor can only be in one of two places: a school, or a penal facility. In her view there was no real difference.
I was an honors student and deeply convicted that education is the answer to poverty. Thus her remarks left me incensed. More than that, whereas I’ve never been a conservative, it seemed to me that the ACLU and other, like-minded movements were bent on destroying all order in society. The family unit was under attack. Marriage was under attack. The schools were under attack. Change for its own sake, which seemed to be what these people were after, isn’t good. Nothing can be built on a foundation of chaos. A child needs to root oneself in earth that will be in the same place today as tomorrow. A tree can’t grow in quicksand.