Friday, September 17, 2004

The sacrament of compassion

I have made a new life decision. The decision is that whenever someone says to me: "Don't waste your time with so-and-so," or words to that effect, then I will know that I am

exactly

where I am supposed to be at that moment.

I have been trying to help a woman get copies of her naturalization papers, so she can get a passport and visit her brother in the old country. This woman has a significant mental handicap. She's sixty years old, but she dresses and wears her makeup like a child.

So someone found out what I was doing, and took it upon themselves to disabuse me of the notion, waxing at great length as to how people had tried to help her in the past...

...so then the Church gave her over a thousand dollars in cash and the next week she came back saying she had lost it all or it had been stolen or something, can you imagine...

I can't imagine just handing her cash. Didn't anybody think that maybe, instead of just shoving a wad of bills at this poor confused childlike woman, they could have found something that she really needed and bought it for her? Clothes, bus passes, grocery scrip. Of course, that would have required some effort, some time to get to know her needs, to talk to her, to treat her like a human being...

...so just forget about it, she's not going anywhere, you're wasting your time...

Fuck that.

You heard me.

The last time somebody pulled the "wasting my time" line on me I was trying to buy propane for an elderly man who was living in his RV without any heat, hot water, or stove.

...its not worth your time, he's a drunk, he's a bum, he's hopeless, he's...

He's a human being, created in the image of God. Infinitely valuable. He's cold, hungry, sick. Lonely. What matters is not so much the passport, or the propane. Its the expression of care. These are only the matter of a sacrament of compassion, the visible sign of an invisible presence.

Wipe that smirk off your face. Learn to see the world with new eyes. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is within your grasp, you can reach out and touch it in the person standing next to you. It need not always be thus. If things do not change, maybe we are not trying hard enough. Maybe the problem is not "them," but "us."

You tell me I make no difference
At least I'm fucking trying
What the fuck have you done?

--RATM

1 comment:

Galahad said...

It's a good idea that you left your blog online even if your not writing anymore... It's useful.