Thursday, August 30, 2007

Letter To Paul In Bellingham

I am writing and posting this open letter to you here, hoping that someday you will take the time to read it:

This morning I woke up and struggled up from the mat on the shelter floor. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, dressed in yesterday's clothes and pinned-back my hair.

Then I smiled at Debra and winked at Robert.

Got my mind ready for another day...my last full one in Bellingham.

When the lights popped-on, I walked past sleepy guys who were still on their mats to my locker.

A guy had his jacket on the floor in front of the locker. I asked him if he would please move it over so that I could put my stuff away.

He glared and snarled: "No! Wait for me to wake up, you effin bitch!"

I told him that it would only take a minute for me to open the locker and put my stuff away.

He continued to snarl obscenities at me.

Then a guy who apparently works at the shelter in some capacity, started yelling at ME. ME!!

I stood there, with one hand on my cane and my other arm full, and couldn't believe what was happening.

There we were, in the place where we take the time to worship God every day. In the place where a large cross covers part of the back wall. And banners proclaiming "LOVE" and "HOPE" adorn each side of that symbol of Christianity.

And I watched grown men behave like dogs.

For all of the Bibles stacked on the shelf, I rarely see examples of Jesus in that shelter. Not in that room...not anywhere.

I've seen people push, curse, steal, threaten and lie.

And nobody ever mentions a word about showing respect for women. Or the importance of scruples, ethics, integrity or what it really takes to be a man. Or a decent adult. Or a humble child of God.

Those guys forgot God altogether this morning.

I didn't.

I stood up for myself and told the second guy that I will never accept cuss words from anyone.

Would God?

Would you?

I will sit and eat a meal there tonight and attend chapel. Just like I've done every night.

And after the sermon or video, I will watch everyone forget what they just saw and heard.

Goodbye to you, Paul. Goodbye Bellingham.

I'm going to board a bus tomorrow and say hello to God again.

I have a feeling that He'll be leaving with me.

After this morning's encounter, I don't blame Him.

1 comment:

alyceclover said...

Christian men are taught from childhood that females are evil. Eve lead poor Adam into sin thus cursing all humans. They are taught that men are the head of women, she must keep her hair covered and mouth shut. Not all Christian men, but more than a few treat females accordingly.

The world would be a better place is Christians acted their faith, but they do not.

My neighbor loves to lecture me on the Bible and blah, blah, blah. The other day he informed that God said~it is in the Bible~that what husband and wife do in private is okay with Him. So that a man can use his wife's "two, no three holes". So much for men of God.

LB's papers and city officials love to report that the homeless do not avail themselves of services. Your experience is one of the main reasons nice people avoid them.