Rev Karla at RevGalBlogPals posed some questions today–questions that, should I answer them as they are posed, would shine a light into my day. But that makes me squirm. Let me shift the focus just a bit.
This morning, I stopped to visit a member of the Congregation of St. Martin’s–a community that worships at the back of day shelter in Albuquerque. Eddie has been a fixture at St. Martin’s for a long, long time. For a while, he lived on the street–sleeping where he could find just a bit of shelter and a measure of safety. Now he has an apartment–a small TV, a fridge, a table, a sofa, a chair and a bed infested with bedbugs.
I wonder how Eddie might answer these questions Rev Karla poses.
1. If you could sneak away anywhere this weekend, right now, all expenses paid,
where would you go and what would you do? Not more than an hour ago, I heard Eddie say, “If only I could get away from my life….just for a day.” His is a life that has been marked by loss–loss of family, loss of job, now even loss of general assistance and food stamps. This morning, as he sat on his sofa, he said, “If only I was just a little rich….” and then he broke it off.
2. What is for lunch today? (one of the very first FF I ever played asked this.) Eddie has lunch today–maybe peanut butter and a bagel. Yesterday he had nothing in his fridge. The food had run out. Tomorrow he may get to train park and get a sandwich and a bottle of water. Saturdays are always hard for people who live on the margins in Albuquerque.
3. Along that first-FF-I-ever-played theme, what are you wearing today? A big man, Eddie is wearing black today–black slacks, a black shirt and even black shoes. He probably wore the same thing yesterday and will again tomorrow. Not many changes of clothes for him. He is really big. It’s hard to find clothes to fit.
4. Along the Today Theme, what are you doing today? Today, Eddie sat with Susan–his priest–and tried to get a handle on the hurdles before him. He kept circling around the challenges–prescriptions running low, no bus passes, no food, no food stamps, not much hope. Then there was a flash of light. “Will you pray for me,” he asked. “Of course,” says I. I launched off–giving thanks for him, his courage, his voice, his kindness and then asking God all sorts of things. When he had heard enough, my friend Eddie said, “Amen.” Had I been in the pulpit and had he been black, he might have said, “Bring it home.” How do you end a moment like that? How do you move towards tomorrow? How do you find the seed of hope? My friend Eddie showed the way. He gestured towards the table where his glasses laid. I got the glasses; he got his hymnal. Then he sang in Navajo–his native tongue–Amazing Grace. While he sang, I found myself praying that that grace would soon appear.
5. Along the random theme, what is your favorite scent, and why? What does hope smell like? What is the fragrance that lingers when a society begins to care for the least of God’s children? What is the cologne one splashes on to bring out the scent of goodness? The aroma of justice? What fragrance will my community wear tomorrow? What scent will my friend Eddie encounter when he goes out his door?