Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday afternoon sanctuary

Human being is there on the steps. Along with a woman who appears to be about 10 years or so older.                                        Kind of short  and squat                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   with fiery eyes, squinted into a stare. Her voice a scratchy rasp. In among all her words her message seems to be, getthefuckouttahere. Hb keeps trying to talk her down, mellow her out a bit, but she’s having nothing of it. 
There are empty Budweieser 24’s lying around. I say, look, we extend hospitality. All I ask for in return is respect. This is our church..
.Ain’t the only fuckin church on the block,she says. I know (well we actually are) I respond, but this one is mine. Sounding progressive and responsibly hospitable at the same time. 
At the same time, I also tell them they can’t sleeep the during the daytime. Hb and his lady eventually leave, but I’m left with the debris, the cans, the cardboard beds, the butts. In the other doorway, there’s also a bottle of Country Club, the classic Dominican soda pop. 

I’ve called Project Reachout about Hb, but no response or action yet. It’s hospitality vs. respect and boundaries. And responsible hospitality, what we’ve been practicing since we returned, always needs boundaries.
I’m working on the Sunday service. Someone comes in who wants to rent space for a program on social media.  Another woman just wants a choir. And another just wants to  drop off clothes for someone who might need them .
Amanda arrives. Sits down at the piano. Starts working through a song about believing (when you don’t want to) she created last summer at our retreat  at Stony Point. I think about that edge between our doubt, our faith, how close it is. The piano notes echo thorugh the Saturday afternoon sanctuary. 

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