Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Where Is The Answer

                                              PHOTOS/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

This post is dedicated to my friends Major Tom and Beautiful Nancy:

                                            (THIS IS AN ALASKAN SELFIE)

I am perceived in so many different ways: A couple will pass by me on the road
and wrinkle up their noses. Then...from out of the crowd...walks one woman who
sees me in a different way.

She did that yesterday.


I was sitting in my wheeler on a corner in Troutdale, Oregon. I was hitchhiking for all
I was worth...as smug and disconnected Americans drove past me and up the ramp to
Interstate 84.

Occasionally, a man would tap the brakes on his rig and flash me a troubled glance. But
his female partner would invariably say something to the man and glare at me as the man
put up his hands and drove on.

I always wonder what kind of world those people live in.

Yesterday, a woman walked all the way over from a nearby truck stop and the first thing
that she gave to me was her smile. Yes, a warm and genuine "Hello, it's nice to meet you"
grin.

I love it when God sends angels. Even to me. Especially to me.

She did it all so fast: Money, chicken, Uber and a bus ticket. She knew that I just wanted
to go to a place where I could put this post together. She didn't know me and she didn't care.
That's not what her magic was all about.

She didn't ask questions or give me a lecture. She was sweet and kind and a ring of golden
blessings that wrapped around me like a quiet whisper from God.

She is from Florida. She and her husband are team drivers for a long-haul trucking company.
And yesterday she set the wheels turning for me: I came over here to the perfect place. I washed
my clothes, showered and spent today writing and editing photos.

I didn't shoot up heroin or get drunk. No, that isn't me. Instead, I sat among flowers and watched
multicolored butterflies dance above brightly-colored bunches of fragrant flowers.

That's what I did.

I struggle with joint pain and weakness and shortness of breath. I hear the distant
admonishments because I can't please everyone. I sit on a bus, watching rows of houses go
by and wish that one of them was mine.

And sometimes I feel so very alone.

But then someone comes walking up to me and says, "God told me to come over and chat
with you." And I am reminded of my genuine value on this Earth. In the midst of 100 blind
people...there appears one person who sees...me.

                                         PHOTO TAKEN TODAY--JULY 5, 2016


It only takes a few minutes to see the talents that I have: The way that I sing, the
way that I write, the way that I cherish natural beauty in a photograph. These
parts of me are never listed on a form...or shared in a file...in an office where
people talk about housing. No, that never happens.

So am I a victim of overshadowing bureaucratic blindness? Yes. And who is
to blame for my lack of decent, affordable housing?


Even I have the right to dream.




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