Friday, 18 April 2008

Life's disappointments.

Sometimes my ministry at Resurrection House takes me into sad territory.

J is a cool and relaxed 50 something. He’s not been around all week. I checked the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Dept. “log of arrests“, and there I saw his good face.

Arrested for “urinating in public”, and “resisting arrest”.

Urinating in public? Well, where else can you do it in downtown SRQ, unless you have money enough to eat in café or restaurant? We have no public bathrooms.

(I urinated in public yesterday morning, when I was caught short on my morning walk. What else was I to do except to find a convenient tree?)

And if J resisted arrest, you can be sure in SRQ that the arresting officer was not exactly sweetness and light.

Then there is W. He is in his early forties, and is a charmer. Last Saturday he helped me and J.J-B to move some free furniture into J.J-B’s new apartment. He did this for twenty bucks and a free lunch.

Mind you, he began drinking early in the day. And by the time we finished our furniture moving, he was “in his cups” or worse, and quite aggressive.

He used my twenty bucks to buy a carton of cigarettes, and a six pack of beer. I was glad to drop him off at the home he shares with his common law wife and their daughter.

Now W. is also in jail. Last Monday he got into an early morning violent altercation just outside Res. House. He used some kind of metal bar in this fight.

He is facing charges of “battery with an offensive weapon”. And, unable to raise bail, he is incarcerated.

And, get this, if you met W. at my home, you’d love his company.

Yes, about J.J-B. He’s a neat 31 year old “Haitian-out-of-Boston”, with a girl-friend and a five month old child.

He lost his job (out of laziness I wonder?), and thereby also lost his house and car. He got involved in some dubious activity, and is now on probation.

He shows a lot of promise, and I have been trying to help. But he has a doting mother back in the Boston area. She constantly rescues him from his stupid decisions.

I play it tough with J.J-B. I try to make him accountable for the promises he so easily makes.

It seems to me that the good life is one filled with people who both “give us a break” and “hold us accountable”. I suspect that this is how G-d loves us too.,

Certainly I have been given many breaks in life, and I’ve also been held accountable.

So I try to practice this with the lovely homeless folks at Res. House. And our “success stories” make the “failures” more bearable.

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