Our True Home

On December 4, 2017, my beloved companion Sandi’s earthly body left us. As the Bible says, it was her tent, and her soul has gone home to Jesus, where she belongs. Sandi’s family had left framed photos of her though out the years for me, which I picked up at the memorial service in her honor at the homeless meal on February 3 in Bristol, PA. I reflected on Sandi as I gazed at the photos. 

I took care of Sandi for almost three years, after she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer which spread to the brain and liver.  

In Sandi’s younger years, she was a beautiful woman. Shortly after I met her in December, 2014, her beauty faded and she looked sickly. She was always tired. Her vigor and her good looks were gone, but Sandi was beautiful to me.  As the saying goes, beauty’s only skin deep. Oh yea! 

Watching her body being eaten up by cancer over the past three years makes me start to realize what’s important in life, just as homelessness does. Sandi was a lady. She had class and morals. Some guy wanted Sandi to go with him, I think when she was homeless before she met me, evidently thinking because she was homeless she was a ready target for a “good time.” Wrong! Not Sandi.  

Recently I’ve been getting to know a very lively, cute woman who is searching for answers about God.  As was the case with Sandi, I have a heart to help people, especially pretty, skinny women. Seriously though, I sometimes get so caught up in helping people that I forget that I am not responsible for outcomes. That’s God’s job. I reminded myself and a Christian sister reinforced this idea, which I know but tend to forget.  I get bummed out and anxious when things don’t go as I thought they should go. I’ve been praying to God that He will handle what I can’t and that I will know my place. God’s ways are not our ways. 

There’s a problem when you think someone can bring you what only God can. As Bob Dylan sang: https://www.elyrics.net/read/b/bob-dylan-lyrics/it-ain_t-me-babe-lyrics.html 

The best we can do for others is to reflect God. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 

God created us in his image. I try to keep in mind that my purpose is to glorify Him by doing that which pleases Him.  

In a sense we are all homeless. This world is not our home; we are just sojourners here. Sandi, who, when asked about her salvation, said “Jesus is in my heart.”  She has gone home to Jesus. I will always cherish the memory of the lady who wears the cat hat. 

Our True Home

On December 4, 2017, my beloved companion Sandi’s earthly body left us. As the Bible says, it was her tent, and her soul has gone home to Jesus, where she belongs. Sandi’s family had left framed photos of her though out the years for me, which I picked up at the memorial service in her honor at the homeless meal on February 3 in Bristol, PA. I reflected on Sandi as I gazed at the photos. 

I took care of Sandi for almost three years, after she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer which spread to the brain and liver.  

In Sandi’s younger years, she was a beautiful woman. Shortly after I met her in December, 2014, her beauty faded and she looked sickly. She was always tired. Her vigor and her good looks were gone, but Sandi was beautiful to me.  As the saying goes, beauty’s only skin deep. Oh yea! 

Watching her body being eaten up by cancer over the past three years makes me start to realize what’s important in life, just as homelessness does. Sandi was a lady. She had class and morals. Some guy wanted Sandi to go with him, I think when she was homeless before she met me, evidently thinking because she was homeless she was a ready target for a “good time.” Wrong! Not Sandi.  

Recently I’ve been getting to know a very lively, cute woman who is searching for answers about God.  As was the case with Sandi, I have a heart to help people, especially pretty, skinny women. Seriously though, I sometimes get so caught up in helping people that I forget that I am not responsible for outcomes. That’s God’s job. I reminded myself and a Christian sister reinforced this idea, which I know but tend to forget.  I get bummed out and anxious when things don’t go as I thought they should go. I’ve been praying to God that He will handle what I can’t and that I will know my place. God’s ways are not our ways. 

There’s a problem when you think someone can bring you what only God can. As Bob Dylan sang: https://www.elyrics.net/read/b/bob-dylan-lyrics/it-ain_t-me-babe-lyrics.html 

The best we can do for others is to reflect God. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 

God created us in his image. I try to keep in mind that my purpose is to glorify Him by doing that which pleases Him.  

In a sense we are all homeless. This world is not our home; we are just sojourners here. Sandi, who, when asked about her salvation, said “Jesus is in my heart.”  She has gone home to Jesus. I will always cherish the memory of the lady who wears the cat hat. 

Don’t Drink The Kool-aid

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…”

— Beat poet Allen Ginsburg, from Howl.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179381

The Beats were supposed to be so cool, man, cool. If you call decadent, perverted sex, drugs and bizarre, destructive behavior and a nihilistic attitude of life cool. Wonder what your meaning of “is” is?

In an interview, Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary 60’s folk singers fame, was asked if she identified with the beatniks. Mary answered an unequivocal “no”, and explained that the beatniks don’t bathe, don’t work, etc. The one thing she said she had in common with the Beatniks, however, is that she’s a rebel, speaking out against things she thinks need changing.

The Beatniks morphed into the Hippies, largely disciples of Allen Ginsburg. And the Hippies further devolved into yuppies.

Hope and change aren’t always complimentary.

Fast forward to Woodstock, a bastion of decadence, a prelude to the cults and the me generation of the 70s.

And along came Jones. Long tale Jones. Slick talking Jones, false preaching Jones. Along came Kool-aid pushing Jim Jones.

In a documentary of Jim Jones and Jonestown, Guyana, Jonestown survivors related how they became disillusioned with Jonestown and lamented their dehumanizing degradation and the loss of privacy and freedom in a police state. One survivor, in retrospect, wondered why he and others didn’t act a red flag they should have seen early on.

Before the tragic grand finale at Jonestown in 1978, Jim Jones did a dry run for the poison Kool-aid episode. He had members of his flock (whom survivors said he fleeced) drink the Kool-aid, telling them they will die. Jones very well may have been mimicking the Bible story where God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, only at the last minute to stop the sacrifice in order to test Abraham’s obedience.

Jim Jones thought he was God.

People were taken in by Jones’ welcome grin. Guyana, which, according to the documentary on CNN, was a socialist state in 1972, welcomed Jones, a comrade in arms, a fellow traveler.

Jones and his henchmen preyed on the weak and needy in society, including a homeless person who was picked up in California and lured to the utopian promise of hope and change of Jonestown, Guyana.

When people don’t have solid values, then anything is possible. Jonestown Guyana is a perfect example. If people don’t follow the true, unadulterated Word of God, and practice it, destruction isn’t far behind.

During the Reformation, Martin Luther started a practice where anyone, from any walk of life can challenge the clergy on the truth of scripture, and one another.

Jesus is the solid rock on which I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the allegory of the soul, Evangelist” points up, directly to God.

The Romantics in the 18th century, as a college professor told my class, were the forerunners of the flower children. They believed that the love of nature leads to the love of man. Wrong! For the Christian, the love of God leads to the love of our fellow humans.

I went to a conference the spring before last where the theme was “Reflecting God”. A analogy was made to the moon. The moon has no light of its own but gets it from the sun. Likewise, we reflect God’s love; we have no goodness apart from him.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” — 2 Corinthians 5:20

The ultimate hope for the homeless community and our nation is God. Dig, man?