January 17, 2010
The Coldest Day Ever
Winter's long shadows over Pear Tree Cottage Metfield Bella Vista AR
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.
"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
I sit in sunny warmth that feels like spring even though it is merely 40 degrees. The previous months deep cold is like a memory... one morning it was 15 below when I went out to get the paper at 10 am. I stood there and thought to myself that this undoubtedly is the coldest temperature I have ever felt..
The strangeness of this time of extremes is one reason why I find it so hard to write, not only here in my blog but on face book , or letters to my friends and even my journal. I spend a lot of time these days in contemplation... meditating on what seems to be a time of challenge but also happiness and healing. I fear for the future at times and at other times I am elated at possibilities. I pray to hang onto hope, because its hard to do that sometimes.
I have not had work since the 31st . The terrible weather the first days of the New Year slowed down my job hunting, and things are still very slow. I have no money, no prospects for getting any soon and frankly I dont know what to do, other than what I am doing. Making phone calls, using the paper the Internet and networking as I can, to try to find something, something to do where I can earn a living.
The struggle, disappointment and feeling of disconnect, makes it hard to hope. I recently listened to a study on Joesph and his brothers...how long did he languish in slavery, in prison after being falsely accused, before he was raised up to the right hand of Pharoah. A long time, and relief came in an uncertain way, a unexpected way, and forgiveness was necessary, over and over again. This seems to be my way of life. A cycle of uncertainty to the point of desperation, provision, recollection then the cycle repeats itself.I am coming to see that I need to see beyond my circumstances and daily live by the promises of God...
It is hard to see others in the same struggle. I spent hours at unemployment the other day. There is NO blue colar work left here in this area. I saw the face of hopelessness on these faces as the lines streached out so long that it took me three hours to get to the counter and two hours to see someone... I vowed to not give up... to not let my face look like those that I saw in that waiting area
But that is hard. Men give up, some have killed themselves. Suicides have increased here. Its hard to accept. It is harder still to have hope handed to you only to find it not really anything at at... I was steered to an organization that is trying to set up housing solutions for "marginally or nearly homeless" women. I contacted the lady in charge, she asked all sorts of questions, and felt she could help me... would I come to a meeting..and I said I would.
Well I went and listened ...turned out that to these kind but a touch out of touch people, all with great jobs or pensions, feel that to be "marginally or nearly homeless" one had to be a parolee or coming out of re hab, and have one or a number of illegitimate children. In other words you have to make a bunch of bad choices to get help...I was stunned.
When I asked if someone like me could get help from this organization, I drew silence. I had introduced myself and explained my needs, and no one looked at me. I then said that I knew of other organizations that did similar things but there was no one out there helping honest people who are falling through the cracks every day. I found myself thinking that had I givine up a sober life and made the sorts of "bad choices" they were speaking of..would I deserve help?
The meeting went on, and I was even given an assignment, to help find small business opportunites and maketing for the handicrafts they are going to teach these women as a "job skill". For funding for the coffee shop they want to open. I couldnt believe it... They need to learn office skills or better yet a trade like plumbing, electrical, or construction, or all of the above. There are people who would help them, but knitting???
I have come to believe that like my family who needs a "poor relation" to feel sorry for, to talk about, to even rub salt into the wounds of the hurting one...the community needs to have such people around, thats why the focus on those that make poor choices rather than those that just need a little help in life. This seems to be true not just with government and the welfare programs that have proven to be so unfruitful, but Christian groups who seem to continually minister to the poor that stay poor. If there is no encouragement to grow and get better, no incentive to keep trying to improve, no investment in their future, and this doesnt come cheaply... I think its criminal to not give real help, real job training real education to these women, all these folks are going to do is treat them like children and keep them dependent, unable to earn a real living, and continue the cycle of poverty
In the same vein, the way we as a country are ignoring the millions of people that have just given up on life due to unemployment is just shameful... there are places in this land where people out of work now have no hope of getting a job no matter how much they look and look...they have run out of benefits, they have family, churches, friends that dont know what to do, so they give up on them. They stop calling, stop visting, stop helping. Ministries that started a year ago to help the jobless have run out of steam, mired in the overwellming need. When do we invest in these people...these communities...When to we reach out and have a high profile telethon for the rebuilding of these communities... When do we rebuild our own country?
Two people in my life killed themselves in the last 10 days over these issues... My heart is just broken... but I am angry as well...I can understand why they did it.
I have family that has cut me off... friends that will not call me back, and ministries that promised help that cannot help me now... I understand why taking one's life might be attractive...
I dont want a hand out... I want a job. Once I get one. I promise that I will not forget those less fortunate than I, that dont have work. I will do whatever I can to help that person, in this financially coldest day ever... And I will not give up speaking out about it. This is an injustice that will haunt us for generations to come in this country, may God have mercy on them that suffer and wake up those that have the means to get involved....
Labels: Breaking News, Church, faith working