I stopped by Res House yesterday morning (Wednesday 12th Nov ’08) to gather some information for a presentation I was to give later that day.
One of our good guests “L” asked for a moment of my time. A week ago (Nov 6th) he had been in tears at our prayer service. At that time he could not tell s why he was weeping. We simply surrounded him with a group hug and prayers.
Yesterday he told me that his tears had been because his mother had died.
After that encounter I went to All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church on Longboat Key (our super rich neighbourhood). I spoke with 30 members of their “Episcopal Church Women” about what we try to do with the homeless. I was very well received. These “women of means” have a deep concern for homeless people.
In the evening I was at the Sarasota Opera for a performance of “The Barber of Seville” by Joachim Rossini. Here I was with Sarasota’s “glitterati”.
Many of them “dressed up”. I “dressed down” – for I was there to hear the music, not to be seen.
Rossini’s music is very accessible, and the opera had humour which caused us all to chuckle.
How very wonderful, to chuckle without the aid of a “laugh track”.
On the way to the Opera I ran into five of our Res. House guests. They were happy to see me downtown, and one asked “why are you here?” I said “to see you, and to go to the Opera”.
I was back at Res. House today, and he asked me “how was the Opera?” “Long” I replied.
Now he chuckled, and said - tongue in cheek - “that gave us a good long time to rifle your cars”. The humour of the homeless.
At the prayer service today “H” told his story. A wonderful woman has entered his life, and she is helping to move him in a good direction.
He has quit drugs, and yesterday, at the urging of his girl-friend, he spoke with his father whom he had not seen for 36 years, when “H” was 16 years old.
He too wept as he said how wonderful it was, at aged 52, to say “Dad” for the first time in 36 years.
Later this afternoon I went to the store to buy some batteries. I was wearing my “Obama” tee shirt, and as I entered, a customer who was leaving the store cried out “Obama”, as we crossed.
“Who else?” I replied.
He gave me the “thumbs up” as he went to his car, and I went into the store.
Do I lead a rich life or what?!!!