Thursday, December 9, 2010

The get...

I served with my church at a homeless shelter last weekend.  Looking in the eyes of each of those men, the mother in me saw somebody's little boy.  There were several very warm and gracious men there and at least one artist.  He had drawn a spectacular self portrait in pencil and had written the following poem, that I love.*   

The Get by Paul Proliaska
I got good taste but it turned bad
Got strong feelings, mostly sad
Got some class but it's all low
Got conclusions but still don't know
Got some thoughts I must define
Got lotsa problems and they be mine
Got some quality mostly poor
Got this hole directly to my core
Got some happiness, a small token
Got some spirit but it's broken
Got the facts still to be checked
Got a life which I have wrecked
Got some virtue though many demons
Got my shame for many reasons
Got some choices, I still choose wrong
Got words and music but no song
Got the answers still I'm not sure
Got some conscience, not exactly pure
Got a past which I regret
Got to gain faith and not forget
Got some love that I'm free to give
Got some hope that I might live
Got my reasons to survive
Got God's reason I'm still alive.
Reading this, it occurred to me that it must be very difficult, as a man, to walk into a shelter and receive food.  The place of your need and failure is out there for the world to see.  But to know and admit you're in need, that's something.  

When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
* He gave me permission to print it here.

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