Desolation Row, as evidenced in the drug abuse epidemic and other examples of a fallen world, the subject of my last blog, can be put in the rearview mirror. In a sense we are all homeless – in this world we are sojourners.
When we get too hung up with the things of this world – a house, a nice lawn, a car or cars, even maybe a swimming pool, there is a problem. The obsession with material, worldly things is one reason there is prejudice, judgmentalism against the homeless in Bucks County, PA. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these things, but there is more to life than personal peace and prosperity. Otherwise, we may as just as well be mannequins! We’d live in boxes.
Losing my house, job, etc. helped me realized what’s really important in life.
If we don’t know where we are going, and why things happen, then we are lost. In John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian, an everyman character, is taken on a journey from his hometown, The City of Destruction, to the Celestial City. As he journeys along The Kings Highway, after being relieved of burden of sin, he goes through trials, temptations and tribulations. The classic novel is subtitled “The Allegory of The Soul.” For those of you in Doylestown, an allegory is “a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: “
“Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey”
In the everyday twists and turns in life, you may wonder where you going? What’s the purpose of life, you may be thinking. Do you, like the mother in The Rolling Stone’s Mother’s Little Helper, need valium to send you on your way, get you through your busy day? https://www.bing.com/search?q=the+rolling+stones+mothers+little+helper&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=4b140af9dcd44e0b8092833b507ba222&cc=US&setlang=en-US
Like the pilgrims in The Pilgrims Progress, people today get caught in the slough of despond, bogged down by doubts, fears, temptations, lusts, shame and guilt. Some are homeless. To cope with homelessness, you won’t find the answer in the bottle, by eating more food than you need – gluttony, by worshipping with Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes (smokes are gold in the homeless community) or through drugs, which is popular outside the homeless community and often brought into the homeless community as druggies become homeless, which is no more helpful than the little yellow pill that mother, although she’s not really ill runs to for shelter. Like her, if you keep running to these shelters they will get you through the day, and finally to your busy, dying day.
To get out of swamp, you don’t drain it, but ask for help from a higher power, God, to get out of the pool of decadence, scum and filth. Press on towards the Celestial City!
Life can be demanding, frustrating. As a caregiver, I deal with someone who, although her stage IV cancer is almost gone, wants to give up on life. She’s worn out physically and that’s affecting her spirits. By contrast, my grandmother, rather than being cranky and despondent in her waning years when she had Lou Gehrig’s disease, kept a kindly spirit and thought of others. Unable to speak, she’d write notes to me to ask me about how things are going. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis
Sometimes I feel like busting loose, busting loose. https://www.bing.com/search?q=i+feel+like+busting+loose%2C+busting+loose+song&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=69dd32eb059e4907bf4b845a3d4a156f&cc=US&setlang=en-US
But that’s just another escape. It doesn’t resolve the problem.
When you are on the right path, and not a customer at Vanity Fair, and see the vanity of cheap thrills that don’t satisfy, you find true peace and meaning in life. You don’t have to be, as Curly of The Three Stooges chirps, a victim of soy-cum-stances!
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you“. -2nd Corinthians 4:8-12