Friday, November 4, 2011

The man I would never see again is still there .


George is gone. An so is the rack of men's clothes. 
Have to go refill the gas can. Go to three service stations before I find one with diesel. The can is too heavy. Back at the church, I struggle to get the tank filled. Won’t do that again. Need to plan time better.
All day long I’m dealing with a man asleep on the steps. I tell him he can’t be there during the day. He says half his foot is gone and he’s waiting for a friend and his stomach hurts. I tell him if it’s that  bad, I’ll  call an ambuance. He’s not interested in that. I tell him to at least sit up. He tells me that after his friend comes, I’ll never see him again. This bothers me a lot. Not sure what to do . My clergy colleagues are coming at 4. What wil they think? And what do I mean by thnking that thought? Is it compassion to let him stay or laziness? Is it irresposnblele for him to stay asleep there? Which he couldn’t do across the treet at CVS or PC Richard or the Belnord. And of course,our communtity image comes into the picture as well. How to strip it all down to core values?, That’s the question.
One by one my neigborhood clergy colleagues arrive. It’s the first I’ve hosted them here since we moved  back. I used ti host them in my comfortable offce. If it were 10-15 degrees warmer, I’d take them all outside and we’d sit in the yard. That was my original Octoberfest kind of day. It’s the best turnout we’ve had in  awhile. Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians...Lots to talk about. Occupy... and the faith community. Bread for the  World’s Circle of Protection for poor and vulnerable, Cather Mike’s postcard campaign on budget issues and hunger. Our upcoming interfaith Thanksgiving service.   And as for our annual Martin Luther Kng, Jr. march for peace, father Mike points out it’s our tenth anniversary. We sotarted because of the war in Iraq. That seems to be ending  but....And many of us want to bring  econmic justice into our MLK commemoration, that’s where he was headed when he died.
My friend Father John comes late and stays late.  It’s good talking with him. A true friend.
When I come  back to lock up after the symphony rehearsal, the man I would never see again is still there.
(By the way, props to Oakland. )

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