I just don’t know

Lately I feel like things have been coming to a head. There have been more homeless and beggars around the church than I’ve ever seen before. Word has gotten out that we have hot meals available and in large quantities and people come daily to ask for food. It is a great blessing to have resources literally delivered to our doorstep, but there is still some quality of it that is disconcerting, that feels like a stopgap measure.

A new/old set of homeless sleeps on our doorsteps now. Tonight Jenice (sp?)  knocked on the cafe door at 12:45 am saying that Rico had taken her blanket (this, at least, he confessed to, “Why?” “Cuz I was cold.”), taken off his clothes and solicited her, and when she denied him he told her to leave. She was cold and wanted to come in. Rico called her an alcoholic, said she was just coming around to start shit, that we’d see. Who can tell who, if anyone, is really telling the truth? I’ve heard about Rico before, he seems like a sweet guy, but there’s something behind it. He drinks himself into a near coma, and then comes back from the ER, contrite and in tears.

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. I love that we are not sheltered from these things. But the rub gets unbearable sometimes. Why not shelter ourselves if we’re just going to turn people away anyways? Why not separate if we are just going to ignore it? We have food, we have space, we have heat. The answer, of course, isn’t to enable, is to set boundaries, but a boundary means relationship. Fences separate neighbors. They define community, not the lack of it. Are we ready for that? Real, deep, life-changing (literally), hard, sacrificial relationships with people who spend all the money they don’t have on alcohol, who beat and cheat even their fellow poor and oppressed. Are we ready? I just don’t know.


~ by justinhong on March 10, 2011.

2 Responses to “I just don’t know”

  1. Wow. I did not know Rico did that. Shit happens. The streets make you hard. Bahhhh. I’m frustrated.

  2. it’s a good thing you signed on to do this year of internship too, to figure it out.

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