Friday, April 15, 2016
The Most Powerful Dance
The following post is dedicated to ELVIS SUMMERS :
I sat out at the side of a dusty highway in rural Montana yesterday. Just an older lady in a wheeler
watching a snowstorm roll in.
A homeless shelter was not an option...even though I would have reached one if I had gotten a good
ride fifty miles down the road. I hate shelters and I have no intention of going to one.
And when the highway patrol man came by, I stuck to my guns (metaphorically speaking) and went
to a motel, instead.
The fact that I have traveled over 700 miles with a backpack, a full-sized laptop computer, a sleeping bag (that had to be replaced), a blanket covered in rainbow-tinted peace symbols and a deluxe walker-wheeler, is amazing in itself.
I am making my way across the fourth State in my journey now. When people ask me why I am
doing this I tell them that I refuse to live in a shelter and I want to go home.
Now, repeat after me:
A HOMELESS SHELTER IS NOT A HOME
The word "shelter" is a misnomer. No one has looked out for my best interests whenever I have spent any time in one. No one has cared if I was healthy or sick. No one was ever genuinely kind. No one
ever really gave an honest damn. No, they didn't.
So on this journey, I am not going to be found in a homeless shelter. Period.
Homeless shelters were originally created to control the poor people in this Country. The shelters are
constructed cages that are managed by people who know nothing about love and everything about
I am 60 years old now and I will bow to no one simply because I don't have enough money in my
pocket. At this stage of my life, it is going to be my way or the highway. After 700 miles, I believe
that I have made my point very clear.
Ruth Ellen Rader has the right to live in dignity and to be treated with respect. So now, I will travel on a wing and prayer...with my eyes on a new horizon and my fist in the air.
I don't need to hide behind the windshield of a big truck or a pulpit or a badge. I know that God is
with me...every mile forward has proven that to me. Every time someone has prayed for me and
referred to me as God's "daughter" (which has happened seven times already by people who have
never met each other)...every time someone offered bread, a bottle of water or a ride...every time
that someone has placed a dollar in my hand...every time that someone found me a safe place to
sleep...every joke...every tear...every smile...every wave that said, "Go for it, Ruthie"...every time
that someone said, "I'm so glad that I met you"...
...my link to God and to what really matters in life...has been confirmed.
Life is truly mighty and if you embrace it sincerely...you will find yourself in step with the most
powerful dance in the universe.
I held hands with a family...around their large dinner table...and prayed...in their old farm house...
the other night. And I knew that God smiled on each and every one of us who were asking for
Tomorrow I will step back on the road again. And I will put out my thumb. While Elvis Summers
will fight one more day for the homeless people, many miles away in Los Angeles.
I want to thank everyone who supports Elvis and his cause. I also want to thank those who will help
me with mine.
May God bless you all.
Together we will represent what it means to live with the hope that still exists in the United States