Shocking news hit the homeless and needy community this past week in lower Bucks County, PA, as a beloved member passed away on Saturday, June 17. Just the Wednesday before last I talked with Crystal, who passed, at a community meal. She had been suffering from medical problems for some time, but I didn’t see it at that meal. Instead of dwelling on her problems, Crystal asked me how Sandi, whom I am taking care of, who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer about 2 ½ years ago, was doing.
Crystal was with her husband, Angel at the dinner. They seemed to be always together, and were a committed loving couple.
I got to know Crystal and Angel about three years ago. They were struggling and at first were quiet. A local advocate for the homeless and needy reached out and ministered to them, as she did others. They socialized with others in their situation. The group formed bonds and helped each other in various ways, like the characters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath
After a year or so, the couple left the “Memorial Mob” neighborhood and I lost contact with them. The past several months I started seeing them at the community meals. The community meals for the homeless and those in need are not just about getting fed, but a place where friends meet and form bonds, edifying one another and where, in the group’s oral tradition, news is passed along.
Friends of Crystal and Angel, some of whom have seen them regularly at the community meals, have come together to lend moral, financial and other support to Angel.
I just shared a Facebook post about selfies – how silly and vain they are.
“Don’t you mean taking a lonely? #NationalSelfieDay
Posted by Sebastian Maniscalco on Wednesday, June 21, 2017
No man is an island.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” -John Donne
Just as Crystal and Angel were a team, we all in this circle need to love and care for one another, coming together the way God would want us to.
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:37-40