Saturday, January 12, 2013
There was a tiny little moral dilemma rolled up in its Belgian threads. You see, I have been spending some time with Linda, who is the semi-homeless woman we met on the street in front of my house the night we went caroling. As you recall, she walked around singing with us then came in for cider and presents. I remember thinking at the time……this MIGHT not be a good thing! But what do you do when a homeless woman appears on your doorstep during Christmas and wants to join in the fun? Uhhhhhhh…..
I’ve been giving her a little money here and there and some food and toiletries, and then reading online that giving handouts to the homeless is a bad idea. But she tries to work when she can (cleaning houses) and is living at a “no-tell motel” down the road. That seems to be a common practice of the impoverished. They can’t come up with first and last month’s rent and security deposit, so they pay a fortune to stay at a motel at a daily or weekly rate. Does that make sense?
Today I had lunch with Kristen, the young woman who had assisted Linda before, and “Pops”, a local semi-homeless man (moteler) who has been an outspoken advocate for homeless rights. Kristen and I are taking a crash course in Homeless Issues 101 in hopes of helping Linda and maybe others as well. Pops is taking us to Williams Park tomorrow where the seriously homeless hang out. It will be an adventure on par with Alaska, I’m afraid.
So what’s the dilemma? Oh, you know. Just thinking how decadent it is to spend so much on a rug, when there are neighbors who can’t afford a floor. When I stand at the pearly gates, is St. Peter going to have a photo of my lovely new rug in the power point presentation…..the one entitled, “Why Should I Let You In?”
Talk about contrasts (see previous post)!!!! I have all these beautiful THINGS to enjoy AND a full week’s work behind me. I’m squirming! The good little angel on my shoulder reminds me that Abraham and all the Old Testament guys were blessed with stuff from God (goat rugs and such) and He enjoyed watching them enjoy it. On the other hand, Paul and the New Testament guys apparently took on poverty as an example to us of the righteous living Christ expects.
Sheesh! I’m filtering. Looking for that comfortable place between the testaments. Too bad there isn’t a “Middle Age” Testament between the old and new, like with people. I’d be there about now.