Skip to content

More Sunday

apologies that this is out of chronological order. But maybe chronological order isn’t the point.

Three women from a congregation someplace brought a box full of home-made purses to give after the service. They were in bright fabrics, all lined, simple bags with a zipper closure and two loop handles. Yes, they wanted anyone who would like or could use one to have one; the women in their church made them for the people in this church. Yes, take one for a friend if you know someone who could use one. Much admiring discussion, and choosing of colors, and thanks. One of the young women in the congregation who took one was also asking about help getting any kind of household goods. She’d just become housed, and had very little. She likes it, but “it’s different, I’m alone now.”

After the service, Lauren — a spring term intern–led the bible study with (I think) Michael, Daniel, Bruce, and MaryAnn. We talked about the gospel (the only lesson read in a common cathedral service). Jesus says he has finished the work he was given to do. That should make us happy, because it means that we were given everything we need. What makes us happy? “Nothing makes me happy,” said one. We disagreed with her — carrying the cross makes her happy, and others pointed out that she’s always laughing. She agreed, there are good things. I wonder: maybe there’s something missing that the laughter covers; we don’t examine it. What makes Daniel happy? When things he thinks about “just happen.” Like what? Like things blowing up. Yesterday there’d been a report of four manhole covers “blowing up” in Cambridge [a failure of maintenance, not sabotage]. Daniel has people he hates, and he thinks when people get upset they do things, like shooting people if they get fired. Aren’t we supposed to love people, not loathe them? “No, it’s a typo.” We wander off for a bit to the psalms — even today’s wants enemies to “melt away like wax, blow away like smoke in the wind.”

I’m not sure we’re connecting with Daniel. Talking about God is love, and how hatred eats away at us and is an uncomfortable feeling: I don’t know that it has much reality for him. But he is here, and listening. I am trying to listen to him, but one challenge is understanding what he is saying, literally; the words are hard to discern. That’s going to be another challenge, simply understanding what people say, and a challenge prior to responding to them.

But I’ve managed some informal conversation before and after things — with Loring (about his father), Brenda (she’s out of jail, her fiancé will be soon), Kevin (who got a handsome sweater in the distribution, and educated me about the Celtics), and a couple others whose names I don’t remember yet. This takes time. I have a whole month.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *