Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Some are guilty, all are responsible

RL drops by to show me the work his man from Pennsylvania had done last Saturday. As we go outside, in his cowboy hat, boots, rainy day duster and flowing white hair, RL could be an extra in the Long Riders. The grate is not permanently fixed. Not yet. But no one is going to trip and fall. No law suits here. And RL will handle the permanent fix. 
Out on the steps, I share with Steven and Teddy stories from my meal with the homeless women at the shelter at SPSA last night. Over an amazing baked salmon dinner from Kate, who cooks for the shelter the way she would for her family, they told me about their five weeks with Occupy Wall Street. They were terrified.
Look pastor, one says, we homeless people. But them people, they got no discipline, no respect. We wake up in the ekiddle of the night, some man be sleeping there beside me. They be walking through here all tjhe time. When you’re homeless, there’s rules, understand? These people didn’t respect nothin. They even stole the shower head. We had to petition the church to get a new one.
I know the group, I said. They lived with us awhile. Some of them turned out to be pretty good people. An older woman with gray hair looks at,raises an eyebrow, gives me the eye. Well I sure didn’t meet none of them. 
Teddy laughs, remembering  the crazinessof those  days. Steve wasn’t there yet.
I leave the steps to go visit my old friend Jack. Wish him a happy 90th birhtday. Former jazz trombonist. Singer. Bandleader. Record label producer. Actor. Playwright. Poet. Photographer. Griot. Life mentor. I give him a print of one of Sendak’s creatures. Wild forever reads the banner. And Jack laughs. 
When I get back, it’s time for Bible Study. Sekou arrives just in time. Held up once againn by Obama’s motorcade in the way to a bug fundraiser. Sekou expresses his annoyance. Then laughs and says, Ain’t no glory in not sellin out, just neer been invited to the right parties.
Edging into the second chapter of mark. The call of Levi. Tax collector. What you might call a collaborator. Making his money from his own occuped people working for the occupier. (That’s bad occupy.) And Jesus eats at his table with is friends. And who might they be? Others scorend by their own people, not accepted by the Romans. 
And we talk abou how all of us, churches like us depend on the 1% to survice. How do you do that and not live in a colonized state? We’ve survived so far. Just. Marsha notes that someone had to foot the bill for Jesus and the disciples. Sekou says it was sell all you have and follow me.
And we talk about fasting. And sabbath observance. How it was begun so that none of us relentlessy work. Like the 40 hour work week, an act on behalf of workers. How Uli and my German friends defend the Sabbath laws. In human(e) solidarity with the working class. Yet Jesus’ point is, the sabbath is made for humans, to free them. Humans aren’t made to serve the sabbath. Cutting to the heart, once again. Like always. And ekou points out that we are all implicated.  In a free society, some are guilty, all our responsiblesaid Heschel.
Bobby comes in late. Condaleeza Rice on his mind again. Sekou says, Bobby, I think you like Condaleeza Rice. 
No, he says, she’s a concert pianist.
 Tell you what, Bobby I say. Get me her contact information, I’ll ask her. And somehow, it’s crazy enough that I think she might actually  accept.
Jamie stops by. Time to head to the B where the bartender will pull a Leffe blonde for me as I walk in, takig off the head with a razor before I sit down. Theres a day to catch up on.

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