=whenever you listen to someone who is suffering you hear Christs voice and whenever you meet someone suffering you meet Jesus in person
=the whole church is called to be prophetic that is to say and proclaim the word of the Lord and also to lend the Lords voice to those who have no voice ,to do exactly what Jesus did when reading from Isaiah He declared his personal mission ,”the spirit of the lord is upon me …”
=in this human world there is I think more human weakness than wickedness…weakness is nearly always at the root of our sin and Jesus always sees us by our roots
=does the puffy dirty face stained by sweat ,bruised by falls or blows belong to some addict or some begger or are we perhaps on Calvary gazing at the holy face of Jesus
=it is worth any sacrifice however great or costly to see eyes that were listless light up again..to see someone smile who seemed to have forgotten how to smile ..to see trust reborn in someone who no longer believed in anything or anyone
-at the final judgement we shall be judged by our treatment of Jesus
Jesus who hungers and thirsts..who is dirty, injured and oppressed
-however strange it may seem to some in the innercity Jesus is known to some as hobo, patches or sparkles
behold the man this is Jesus
the person who needs justice who has a right to justice
-we work and live in the midst of the city in order to more tangebly embrace the noise and pollution, the hurts, the people of the innercity, in our prayers .. we live in solidarity with the people of the city in order to offer a place of rest, peace hospitality, welcome and healing
_we acknowledge the presence of the sacred in all we meet by our very presence we witness to the value, the untold respect and reverance due each human person
=we are called to the heart of the city because it is there that we ourselves will be transformed
=sojourners may 200 mr eisener ceo of disney earns $97000.00 per hopur is he really worth 346000x more than the subcontracted laborer who makes less than $4 p/hr sewing mickey mouse t shirts
=we criminalize poverty so the good citizens of ottawas down town dont have to face the poor..the product of out govts short sighted policies but putting on blinders and hoping the problem goes away will not stop vulnerable people from landing on our streets
=what about looking for real solutions to poverty and homelessness
what about attacking the root of the problem instead of reliving a dickenson nightmare when being poor was nothing short of being criminal
=for true change to occur we must attend to the structures in our society that make our shelters and feeding programs necessary and confront societal structures that have turned the world into an individualistic consumer society instead of burying ourselves in religious practices to escape confronting the roots of suffering in our midst.
=we need to justify poverty in order to elevate our responsibility to be involved with it
=single poor males are considered lowest on most peoples list of prioirties
=handouts do not empower people =acute awareness of what you dont have
poverty in the midst of affluence[ie; difference of always being blind and becoming blind at age 20] =poor are often angry at charity
why not its the
1]affect of being poor in the midst of affluence
2]poverty is often the result of oppression
3]often the result of hurt=anger
4]anger at God fo not giving them a better deal fatalism=loss of hope
=sometimes we excuse ourselves from being responsible by saying we are not rich
=but if you have a roof over your head,adequate clothing and a friend we are rich
sometimes we just give the poor table scraps
theres a difference between table scraps and true christian charity
the poor arent stupid
they know where scraps come from
scraps come from excess
scraps are left overs
you give boots away not hope of a way out of poverty
dont get me wrong we welcome your boots lets just call this what it is
urban missionaries hand out the churches table scraps where as true christian charity is a grace gift of loving presence
=foot washing is a sacred act
when Jesus washes his disciples feet and asks us to do the same is he not showing us the importance of meeting each other ,touching each other, simplicity, gentleness and great respect because each person is precious
a man once saw a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cucoon too slowily for his liking so he began to blow on the cucoon gently
the warmth of his breath speeded up the process alrite but what emerged was not a butterfly but a creature with mangled wings
=i have come to realize more and more that the greatist disease and the greatist sufferring is to be unwanted unloved to be shunned by everybody to be seen as ugly and useless a nobody
+there is a marvelous blessing to be found in putting ourselves out to meet the needs of others
the blessing is that we discover Jesus himself is on the recieving end of our love
+we must do all we can to help teach people who are wounded to learn to fully participate in life but we also must learn to walk with those who will never be healed who remain locked in their despair and fears they need us to reveal to them their beauty and preciousness
= we may come to the innercity to help the poor but we soon realize that in fact it is they who are helping us
-the poor are being hidden away far from the rest of society so that nobody needs to be reminded of there existence
-Jesus message today is the same as ever He came to gather together in unity all the scatterred children of God and give them fullness of life He longs to create in this divided world places of unity reconciliation and peace by inviting the rich to share and the poor to have hope
=the poor are usually confined by there poverty as if they lived in a maximum security prison
poverty for many is a life sentence with no hope of parole
=modern day christianity is frightenly infected by the viruses of wealth, egotism and security”
I had a dear street friend “JO” that I knew for years.
He had schizophrenia and was mostly psychotic
scrambling through the garbage like an unkempt animal
sleeping under bridges and on heating grates.
he had no insight into his illness.
he didn’t remember his past life or chose not to share it
because of his civil liberties no one could force care on him
then one day he decided to throw a brick throw a store window and got busted.
he went to jail.
there in the only place where they can in Canada…he was forced to take neuroleptics [antipsychotic].
the man who emerged from prison was unknown to me.
articulate, verbal and pristine.
a well educated family man who had wandered off
we helped him get situated and reunions happened and university colleagues reappeared in his life and it was like a resurrection of sorts
but we didn’t know at first that JO seeing himself well didn’t make the cognitive connection that this was dependant on his strict compliance to his medication regime
I saw the signs and tried to warn JO we all did
but you see JO brain was broken and just as I couldn’t expect a marathon runner with a broken leg to finish the race
JO could not make the logical decision to remain on his meds so that he could enjoy relative sanity
because of JOs civil liberties no one could force JO to take his meds
you can find JO now foraging through the garbage incoherent like an animal
after all its his decision