I’m no hero.

hatinqThe last couple of weeks has been just a bit crazy. There have been two positive articles in the Phila. Inquirer with photos, three lengthy interviews, three photo shoots, money, phone calls, emails and Thank You cards coming in from all over the world. I just do this to stay alive, folks. I could go into the theology of it again, how God created good works for us to do and us to do them. That may be. “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief!” I also found out last year that I have a developmental defect in my arterial system that causes me to be more religious. Now that is a paradox for the atheists to ponder. The 30 to 50 little migrainous strokes that I have had on the right side of my brain would only further accentuate this.

My religion is to strive to live in Jesus’ Name. Let me explain that. The Hebrew concept of in someone’s name, does not mean just to say their name repeatedly, like some kind of mantra or prayer ending. It means to do things according to that person’s will and purpose. There are a lot of people who say “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” who are just using his name in vain, as they oppress the poor and extol earthly riches as a sign of heavenly blessing. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor” and proclaimed curses on the rich and powerful. So serving the poor in Jesus’ Name, means to treat them with dignity and respect, not to condescend and preach at them. It is never “us and them.” It is always only us.

We help serve one hot meal in the week and give the people another to take away for the next day. We give out clothes, blankets and toiletries. We help some when they move off the street. This does not make me a hero. This is a drop in the bucket. We want to do so much more. We want to find a solution. There is no good reason we should have homeless people on our streets! There are 6 vacant houses for every homeless person in this country. That means that we have structured our economy in a stupid way. We have divided tasks unjustly. We have divided wealth unjustly. There are just no two ways about it. Our society is broken. I am driven to push for a way to fix it. I can’t help myself. It’s the way my brain is broken.

I am not absolutely certain of much. These things I know:

  • Jesus loves me.
  • My wife and my daughters love me.
  • I need to serve the poor and homeless in Philadelphia.
  • I have some very good friends who tolerate my bad behavior.

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