Monday, January 25, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update


Me, sitting in the cold, outside the church building on a Sunday afternoon

PHOTO by Ruth Rader

He could have been anybody. But he was a young man standing by an open window at a local Methodist church building. (Not affiliated with the same folks who gave me the laptop).

And when I asked him if I could come in out of the cold, pouring rain yesterday and warm up for awhile...He glared at me and said "NO!"

I asked him why.

He said that it was not something that they did anymore.

"We've let people come in here time and time again and it just brings trouble," he explained.

I asked myself what sort of beings had visited his church building for services that morning.

Maybe aliens?

Maybe he just likes aliens.

Maybe they have two heads or an orange tongue coming out of their left ear.

One thing was certain: They obviously didn't look like me.

I was caught in the same circumstance as every other member of the cold-weather shelter yesterday: I literally had nowhere to go.

That's the situation on Sunday in this small Pennsylvania city. Mainstream citizens dress-up, visit God and then leave their "House So Holy."

And people like me are never allowed in, for any reason, after the lock has turned.

So I sat down on a cold, stone bench underneath an awning outside of that church building. And I waited, watched the occasional vehicle go by and shivered.

Three hours later, I slogged down to another church building where they welcomed me in and served me hot coffee and dinner.

They smiled, they played music and they prayed.

Today I am wondering if it is fair to expect homeless people to ask permission to be treated as children of God.

If God doesn't work on a timer, why then, should anybody else?

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