Homeless in the Park (Randyjw; May 7, 2017)
This photo doesn’t capture the sheer devastation and enormity of the homeless situation in America, and here, in a park, where some in the area congregate. It stretches back for some distance, evoking the atmosphere of a refugee camp. In fact, it’s worse than a refugee camp; here, there are no real tents — just makeshift lean-to’s and tarps covering people’s belongings. I’ve driven by a supposed refugee camp past an Israeli checkpoint, and, there, it is just a regular neighborhood. In Israel and its environs, the only difference is in it’s name.
Today I spent the better part of a morning and afternoon attending church with a small congregation and some other homeless people. I was picked up in a van (with all my luggage) and driven along a circuitous route to make several stops, a good distance away, to collect more downtrodden.
Their wheelchair lift in the van is broken, so I wrote an email to the Trump team, as I’ve appointed myself a sortof ‘eyes and ears on the streets’ advisor to alert them to the problems of real-life people with problems. I’ve also written them more emails about other things.
The church is a little building, whose regular congregation is all-Black. The hymnals were soulful and really heartfelt. I found myself clapping along and there was alot of joyous utterances of faith there. Their faith was enough to believe that G-d was invited and welcomed in that space. I felt there was some relevance, and, therefore, not a coincidence, that my bat-mitzvah portion was the story of Jacob setting the rock under his head at Beit-El (which means “House of G-d”) and saying that G-d was surely in this place, and I knew it not.
One of the congregants said that she had a Jewish friend to whom she felt compelled to share a certain verse from Isaiah with. She said she had somehow needed to do the same with me. It is a very similar verse to the one I love from Joshua 1:9, which reads:
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’
Translation from the 1917 Jewish Publication Society (JPS) Tanakh, which see, here:
After the service, they served a little breakfast, and then drove everybody to their return spots.
This was most of my day, today. It was pretty good.