Wednesday, September 14, 2005

what we are and what we can become

I drove to the other side of the tracks today, to deliver a check for rent for a homeless crack addicted man who has come to our church for the last 20 years for handouts. He is not even Catholic, but he comes to us because we apparently have enough people who see him and think we should take care of the least, even if they aren't our own.

The church has helped him again and again over a period of years and through many pastors, and even when he messes up again he is forgiven and we feed him or clothe him or house him. It's what Christians do, forgive sinners and help them - at least the Christianity that Catholics follow.

But that's not the point of this .

The point is that our ministery demands that when we go to help people we travel in pairs. So I drove to the home of another member and we drive in his pickup truck. His wife thought I was being brave to take the ride with him because his pick up is his joy, but not quite his pride. It was bought out of an auction, and it works but it's not any luxury vehicle. He uses it for hauling things to the dump and picking up gardening things at the Home Depot.

When I got into the truck I had a thought. Had this been 40 years ago I might have been hauled out of the truck by a cop. Why? Because the other person was a black male, and I am a white female. Back then white women did NOT travel in the company of black men. And I thougth to myself, look how far we have progressed. Look how we care little for the color of skin and only judge by the content of character.

Then I thought of New Orleans, and I was saddened that although I have learned it, it's obvious that everyone in government has not.

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