January 4, 2006

such a hypocrite

It's the halftime show of the Rose Bowl and I thought I'd take this opportunity to write out and admit how much of a hypocrite I am. First let me say that at this juncture, Texas is up and performing wonderfully. James owes me a chai if Texas beats USC.. I'm betraying my state and "the Longhorns are going down".. we'll see.

Today I left pretty late for work and when I was a block away from the trolley stop, I saw it pull up. They only sit at the stop for about a minute and I've learned my lesson since my slide and fall a couple days ago. The trolley comes every 15 minutes so I knew I'd have some time sitting on the shaded bench so I pulled my new book, 'The Ragamuffin Gospel' out of my purse. At Aveda I have to dress up for work which strongly contrasts with those that hang around trolley stops, sitting and waiting there I usually get a lot of questions. I had the couple from Kansas asking for directions, the old man who smelled so heaviliy of urine saying 'Good morning, young lady!' and looking at my new heels and finally the middle-aged man that proved I'm a hypocrite just like everyone else.

As I focused on the pages of my new book, I could feel someone looking at me. I kept reading about grace and our depraved state, as someone stood to my left just staring. I wasn't in danger, I didn't feel threatened, I just didn't want to be bothered. He asked, "How long does chicken last without being refridgerated? A couple hours? Or do you think it needs to be refridgerated right away? I know people that leave roast beef out all night." I said, "Hmm.. I don't know exactly, but I think it should be alright for a couple hours." My face went down into my book immediately. "Well, because I don't have a 'fridge. I bet you don't need to know that because you have one. You don't need to wonder how long chicken can stay out. I bet you don't cook that much. I bet you're busy all the time." I looked down at my book, and glared at what I had just read,

"Here is revelation bright as the evening star: Jesus comes for sinners, for those as outcast as tax collectors (referring to Matthew 9:9-13) and for those caught up in squalid choices and failed dreams. He comes for corporate executives, STREET PEOPLE, superstars, farmers, hookers, addicts, IRS agents, AIDS victims, and even used-car salesmen. JESUS NOT ONLY TALKS WITH THESE PEOPLE BUT DINES WITH THEM.... We think salvation belongs to the proper and pious, to those who stand at a safe distance from the back alleys of existence, clucking their judgements at those who have been soiled by life." (ch. 1)

I looked back up and realized that I underlined that excerpt agreeing and not believing I was guilty.. but I most definitely was. When I looked back up I didn't need to say a word, that fact that I was making eye contact was enough for him to continue. He talked about being homeless, and how he's lived on the streets for the last 10 years, and that he thinks he'll find work because the police keep harassing him for begging. RIght now he does Labor Ready construction under the table 5-6 times a month to buy trolley passes and some food, and begs for the rest. He told me that he had nothing to do today so he thought he'd ride the trolley route all day and get off to walk around when he felt like it. I just nodded.

The last thing he said, was a perfect parable. This middle aged homeless guy said, "You know when you have something safe in your pocket, like money or something and you know it's there, but you just can't find it? I mean, you know you have it.. that's it's yours and was in your pocket just a minute ago.. you're sure of it.. and then it's gone and you don't know where it went? I hate when that happens." I knew exactly what he was talking about- where the heck was my grace? I knew it was there, I just couldn't find it.

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