A funny sort of thing happened to me recently (you’ll see why it’s funny in a minute).
I was about to start my shift at work last night when, looking across the street, I saw two youngish men (20s-30s) grab an old homeless looking guy, throw him into the doorway of a hostel and start beating on him. “Holy hell,” I thought, “a fight just broke out” (yep, my wheels were turning pretty quickly last night). As I was realizing what was happening, another young guy ran up with a video camera and started filming everything (he appeared to be with the guys who were beating up the homeless looking fellow).
Instantly I went from surprised to angry. In fact, I was furious. I’d heard about the internet craze of filming homeless guys getting beat up (or paying homeless guys to beat each other up while being filmed) and that really makes my blood boil. So, I jumped into my workplace, grabbed a radio, told them that I might need them to call the cops, and ran back out. At first it looked like everything had broken up, but then the same thing happened — the two younger guys, followed by the cameraman, rushed the old guy and laid him out. Of course, by this time I had been able to assess those guys and had realised that they were actually pretty big and would have no problem kicking my ass. However, I was too angry to care.
I ran across the street yelling, “Hey! What’s going on here?” I was planning on grabbing the two younger guys from behind in order to try to pull them off of the old guy, but before I could do that two women with clipboards stepped in front of me: “No, hey, wait! We’re making a movie!” This threw me off for a second. “Oh,” I said, “you mean those are actors?” (Now that I was closer I noticed that the punches being thrown weren’t actually doing any damage.) “Yeah,” one of the women responded, “you know, a movie.” “Oh,” I sort of stammered, “I thought these guys were filming themselves beating up a homeless fellow.” “No, no,” she replied, “no ‘bumfights’ here.” “Oh, um, that’s good,” I said, “because, um, that would have made me pretty angry.” Apparently they had already figured this out, so I decided to bow out, stick my tail between my legs, and slink back to work.

this Something

I’m sure the T.V. sets will tell us when someone reinvents the wheel.
Till then I’ll have a million conversations about shit that isn’t real.
But I’ll try to breathe in meaning, dig deep through every gasp of air.
Cause I know you did the same thing, for as long as you could bear.

~ from “Reinvent the Wheel” by Conor Oberst
About a week ago, a young man that I knew obtained a day pass, a pass that permitted him to leave the psych ward of the hospital –- where he was being held and monitored –- and he went to visit a friend. While he was at that friend’s house, he hung himself and died.
This young man had been in “anguish” for a long time. I don’t know how else to describe what he was experiencing. Something in his mind was broken. Something was wrong; and, whatever that Something was, it tortured him. I don’t know when it first appeared -– maybe it came in and broke his mind when his family broke his heart, or maybe it came in and broke his mind when older men broke his body. Maybe that Something was always there and just got stronger and stronger with each new experience of brokenness, until it overwhelmed him.
I have encountered this Something before. I have seen it devour other lives. Indeed, tonight I sat and watched two other young people who are, literally, fighting for their lives against this Something.
What is this Something? It’s Plath’s “Bell Jar,” an invisible cage that suffocates whomever it surrounds. It is a darkness that enters through our wounds and fills us until all light, all hope, is lost. But it is also more than that. It is a Power in the service of Sin and of Death. It is one aspect of the demonic confronted by Jesus and by Paul (cf., for example, Mt 12.28; Eph 6.12).
And this Something is strong. It was stronger than this young man, and it was far stronger than anything we had to offer.
Supposedly such Powers were dethroned in the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, supposedly through the Spirit of New Life, we are equipped to proclaim the end of the reign of such Powers. But, as I watch my young friends sleep, I am far from confident that we will be victorious. The darkness is rising and they are suffocating.

Last Night's Conversation…

“After everything first happened, I panicked, I locked myself in the bathroom and I called a friend, ‘I just got raped, you’ve got to come find me, you’ve gotta get me to the hospital.’
At first I tried to press charges, but I couldn’t go through with it. The cops — they made everything worse for me. They didn’t believe me, they didn’t believe it was rape. One of them thought I was a hooker and he kept asking me, ‘Are you sure you didn’t just have a bad date?’ and the other guy asked me, ‘Are you sure you didn’t want it?’ I wanted it?! Yes, Mr. Officer, I got up that morning and I said to myself, ‘by God, I sure feel like having the shit kicked out me while being raped; yep, that’s what I feel like doing today.’ So, I couldn’t deal with the cops, not on top of everything else.
Which makes it hard now, because the other day on the bus I ran into one of the guys who raped me. I started dissociating, like I was floating away from myself, but I made it home. I went to bed and I stayed there for three days, I hardly had the strength to get up. At one point I went to the kitchen and I ended up dropping, and accidentally smashing, a plate on the floor. Hearing the smash triggered me again — it was like I could feel them punching me in the mouth, it was like I could taste my blood again.
I don’t know, it’s all fucked up. Like the other day I heard a little girl in my building scream and start to cry and I just started sobbing uncontrollably. That’s not normal. If another counselor tells me that my reactions right now are ‘normal,’ I think I’m going to lose it. How can any of this be ‘normal’? It’s all so fucking messed-up and I don’t know if I’ll ever be ‘normal’ again.”

Longings of a Disabled Person

There are some longings that I have not been able to satisfy or abandon. In a way, I carry these longings as a wound within me; they are a thread of brokenness, of sadness, that runs through me and, increasingly, even at the best of times, they are never too far below the surface. I suppose that one can only encounter so much brokenness before one ends up broken-hearted, broken-hearted and longing for the day when all wounds will be healed, all tears will be wiped away, and all things will be made new.*
Until that day, it seems as though we live in the midst of an irresolvable tension.
On the one hand, having seen God intervene and reach into the depths of brokenness (both my own and that of others), we live with the hope that any one of us can be transformed. I have seen God break in and enable people to overcome unimaginably awful events (I say, “unimaginably” because, unless one has gone through such events, one literally cannot imagine what that event is like), and so, as I journey alongside of people overwhelmed by the Powers of Sin and Death, I persevere because one never knows when, or to whom, God will appear. I have seen survivors of brutally violent sexual assaults (although that’s a bit redundant since all sexual assaults are brutally violent) be not only healed but made new in unimaginably incredible ways (for some traumas are so deep that it is not enough to be healed, one must become a new person in order to be set free), and I have seen crack addicts, addicts that were going to “die on the street,” get freed from their addictions. There is no brokenness so deep that God cannot make us new, here and now.
On the other hand, I have more frequently seen God fail to intervene. Recently I had to bring a kid to the hospital, and the “hospital smell” vividly reminded me of all the times I spent with my oldest brother in the hospital when I was younger. I still remember the night that I was sitting beside him as he lay in a hospital bed, his six foot frame wasted away to under 100 pounds, he was writhing and groaning with pain; I remember then how I stopped praying for God to make him better and started praying for God to “take him home” (an emergency surgery later that night saved his life and, although he is not “healed,” his life is “liveable” now… at least until the disease flairs up again). However, there are others I know who carry a form of pain that cannot be cured or appeased by any medical procedure. I think again of the many I have known who carry the ongoing wounds of sexual trauma: the bodily scars they keep covered, the nightmares that wake them at night, and the way in which such events fracture the world and make it a foreign, dark, and threatening place. And I also remember those who never came to see any healing. Pain ended up overwhelming them — I remember Becky jumping in front of a subway train, I remember Ruckus bleeding to death on a street corner, I remember Shaun overdosing in an alley.
And so my life is marked by a longing that is rarely satisfied. I live as one who is too weak to accomplish that for which I long. I cannot overcome the power of Addiction any more than I can physically cure my brother, or anymore than I can piece Becky’s shattered body back together. I live, in places of godforsakenness, as one who is disabled.
That might be the reason why the following quotation resonated so deeply with me. It comes from an article by Nancy L. Eiesland, herself a person with a disability, the author of The Disabled God: Toward a Liberation Theology of Disability. She writes:
I was reading Luke 24.36–39… “While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them… They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see.’” …here was the resurrected Christ making good on the promise that God would be with us, embodied, as we are – disabled and divine… The foundation of Christian theology is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet seldom is the resurrected Christ recognised as a deity whose hands, feet, and side bear the marks of profound physical impairment. The resurrected Christ of Christian tradition is a disabled God.
God with us, disabled and divine; the resurrected Christ, marked with a profound physical impairment. Strange that such a thought should be so comforting. Strange that, to many who are suffering, a God of weakness becomes so much more meaningful than of God of absolute power (strange, perhaps, until we remember what Power has done to those who suffer). Is it enough to know that God is broken when we are broken? Is it enough to know that God weeps when we weep, bleeds when we bleed, dies when we die? No, it is not enough, but it is something. It means that we are not forgotten, and we are not alone. And if it is God who remembers us, if it God who is with us, than perhaps there will yet be a day when our longings are fulfilled.
Until that day, I live as one disabled, following a disabled God. Christ’s hands pierced, and my hands too impaired to heal the brokenness I encounter. Christ’s feet pierced, and my feet too impaired and slow to prevent the brokenness that precedes me. I am always too weak and too late. I cannot do enough. But, perhaps, I can still do something. I can remember, and I can be with others.
Sadly, such remembering often means remembering against the Church (as a member of the Church). Until the Church begins to remember and journey with the broken, those whom I remember — those like Becky, Ruckus, and Shaun — are remembered as a charge against the Church. What did you do, O Church, for those like Becky, Ruckus, and Shaun? Nothing. You don’t even have any memory of them. Thus, even as I remember them on your behalf, I also remember them against you.
*By speaking of these things, as I sometimes do on this blog, I am not seeking consolation or encouragement. I am simply recognising that this brokenness is a part of who I am and a part of the road laid out before me — and before any of us who are seeking to journey alongside of those who suffer in exile today.

Another Example of the Moral Superiority that Exists among the Poor

Last night I was walking to work shorty before 10pm and I decided that, rather than walking up the street, I would follow the alleyway most of the way to work. There is a major alley that runs parallel to my route (probably the most notorious alley in Vancouver) and I sometimes like to walk it at night. I do this for a few reasons: (1) I always figure there might be a chance of running into somebody I know who has been missing for awhile; (2) I figure it’s good to become a familiar face in such places; and (3) I like to walk in such places at night to make sure that I remain comfortable there — if I get away from such places for too long I notice to I find them more intimidating.
Anyway, I was just about to cut into this alleyway when two young guys, probably in their early twenties, stopped me because they thought they recognised me. Eventually we figured out that I actually did know one of the guys — he used to attend a drop-in I worked at in Toronto five years ago. We didn’t ever know each other well but we at least recognised each other. So we chatted a bit and then, as we were about to go our separate ways, he realised that I was going to go into the alley. He got pretty concerned:
“Yo man, why you want to go there for? It’s lookin’ real grimey tonight.”
So I told him that I was hoping to find a friend that wasn’t doing so hot. I told him not to worry, I’d be find. In response he said something that really touched me:
“Look man, how ’bout me and my boy here go with you. We’ll watch your back.”
Here’s what got to me about his offer: me and this guy, we hardly ever knew each other at all. But he was willing to put his neck out for me, he was willing to walk into who-knows-what, and if things got bad he was willing to jump in on my behalf, simply because we did have that one point of contact five years ago. And it wasn’t like this was no big deal for him — he was pretty scared by what was going on in the alley that night. But he was willing to put his fears aside for my sake. The reason why this touched me the way that it did was because I can’t imagine any of my acquaintances from the Christian community (outside of the intentional community that I am a part of) make anything close to a similar offer. The idea of even offering to join me in that alleyway at night probably wouldn’t even cross the mind of most of my Christian acquaintances.
And so, once again, I am humbled by the affection and solidarity that is continually embodied by those who are street-involved. I wonder how things would be different if anything close to a similar affection and solidarity existed within the Christian community. It’s about time that we also started putting our fears aside for the sake of one another.

Lord, if you had been here…

And if God is great,
and God is good,
why can’t he change the hearts of men?

Maybe God himself is lost and needs help,
maybe God himself needs all of our help,
maybe God himself is lost and needs help,
out up on the road to peace.

~Waits/Brennan, “The Road to Peace”
The other night I ran into an old friend, let’s call him “Mike” — a young man imprisoned by the Powers of crack and alcohol and anger. Mike is one of those guys who grew-up fast, and gained a lot of wisdom with his brokenness, something that can’t be said of all of us. But the Powers that have a hold on Mike are stronger than he is, just as they’re stronger than me or the “help” some of us tried to give Mike half a year ago.
So Mike was not doing well when I ran into him the other night. He was high and hadn’t slept for six days. To top it all off, he had found a place for himself and his girlfriend that night, but another fellow had run him off. So, he paced up and down beside me on the sidewalk and waited to see if his girlfriend was going to come out to be with him, or stay in with another guy. Barely coherent, he was cursing and swearing and boxing the air.
Anyway, his girlfriend showed up but she brought another guy — and I knew there was going to be trouble. As soon as Mike saw this other guy, he jaw clenched, as did his fists, and sure enough, after a few words were thrown back and forth, I found myself jumping into the middle of things, bodily intervening to ensure that physical violence didn’t follow verbal violence. Mike’s girlfriend jumped in as well and, thankfully, the two of us were able to diffuse the situation.
I wasn’t able to do anything meaningful for Mike that night. He was bouncing from crisis to crisis, the Power that we call Addiction was stronger than anything I had to offer, and so after after helping Mike in a few trivial ways, after sharing a few affectionate words, he was gone back to “Hell’s Acre” to score some crack in “the belly of the beast” (his words, not mine).
More and more these days, I find myself praying the words of Mary (the sister of Lazarus) in Jn 11.32. Her brother had just died and Jesus, their friend and a great healer, had delayed in coming to them. So, when Jesus arrives, she kneels at his feet, weeping, and says:
Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
Perhaps if a few more of us take up this cry, perhaps then our Lord will once again be “greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.” Perhaps he will weep now, as he wept then, and perhaps he will set us free from the Powers that bind us, just as he once called Lazarus forth, out of the tomb. Perhaps then our Lord will greet people like Mike with the same words with which he greeted Lazarus:
Unbind him, and let him go.
Perhaps. Because it appears that my prayers, and my tears, are — by and large — unheeded. And so I pray, again and again, “Lord, if you had been here… Lord, if you had been here.. Lord, if you had been here…”

Confronting Hopelessness

What ever happened to the passion we all had to improve ourselves, live up to our potential, leave a mark on the world? Our hottest arguments were always about how we could contribute. We did not care about the rewards. We were young and earnest. We never kidded ourselves that we had the political gifts to reorder society or insure social justice… But we all hoped, in whatever way our capacities permitted, to define and illustrate the worthy life…

Leave a mark on the world. Instead the world has left marks on us. We got older. Life chastened us so that now we lie waiting to die, or walk on canes, or sit on porches where once the young juices flowed strongly, and feel old and inept and confused.
~ Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety, 12-13.
On one of the many flights my wife and I took on our honeymoon, I watched a film called Sherrybaby. Sherrybaby is about a young woman, Sherry, who has been released from a three year prison sentence (it turns out she was stealing in order to support a drug habit), and who then tries to reconnect with her six year old daughter. Along the way we see her interactions in a halfway house, with her probation officer, with members of a support group, and with her father and her brother’s family. I found this film to be incredibly moving — I have never seen such an accurate representation of the people with whom I work and journey. If I were to sum this film up in one word I was say that Sherrybaby is honest.
When I got back to Vancouver, I asked a film-buff friend of mine if he had seen this movie. He replied that he had but that he had disliked it immensely. I asked him why, and he responded that the movie had left him with such overwhelming hopelessness that he could barely sit through it all. Sherrybaby confronted him with a brokenness so deep that there was no possibility of redemption.
As I thought about my friend’s comments, I realised that it was exactly this revelation of hopelessness that caused the movie to resonate so deeply with me. Yes, we can never fix the brokenness that we discover in Sherry. And, yes, it is just as impossible to fix the brokenness that runs through my neighbourhood, through the men who smoke crack in the park, through the girls who work on the corner, and through the kids who sleep in Blood Alley.
I was relieved when my film-buff friend told me that he chose to watch Sherrybaby all the way through, instead of turning it off and walking away. I wanted him to know the hopelessness I feel, to be confronted, in that moment, with what I face day, after day, after day. Because we live in a culture that wants to cling to false hope and irrational positivity. And Christians are just as good as denying the hopelessness of our situation as the rest of society. Indeed, Christians, especially, don’t want to confront hopelessness and so they cloak false hopes, and apathetic disengagement, with religious language.
You see, there was once a time when I clung to those false religious hopes. There was a time when I thought that we could fix lives like Sherry’s. There was a time when I thought — as Stegner’s character once thought — that we could truly contribute and leave a mark on the world. But — like Stegner’s character — I have only found that the world has marked me. Instead of bringing wholeness to others, I have found that the brokenness of others has become a part of me. Instead of bringing help, I have received helplessness. Instead of bringing comfort, I have received sorrow. Instead of being a light and a guide, I have found myself plunged into darkness. Instead of being an agent of salvation, I have found myself a member of the damned.
This is the hopelessness that I want my Christian brothers and sisters to be confronted with. Indeed, it is only after we have been confronted with the reality of this hopelessness that we can begin to understand the true nature of Christian hope. This hope speaks of a peasant who died abandoned and hopeless, marked by the world’s whips, and thorns, and nails. And this hope continues to lead me into places where the world will, inevitably, mark me.

God bless you, Sarah. You were three and a half months pregnant when your man, your john, cut you open. Did you ever make it home?


I don’t know what it means to “maintain perspective” anymore. Indeed, when I think about the perspective that I used to have on things like evil, suffering, and risk-taking, then it could quite easily be argued that I have “lost perspective.” But which perspective have I lost, and which have I gained? After all, it is not as if I have no perspective now; it’s just that my perspective has, over the last half dozen years of journeying alongside of those on the margins of society, shifted quite radically (and I suspect that it will continue to do so).
How is one to know if one has become enlightened or if one has become blind? And, since the chances are that both enlightenment and blindness have occurred in various ways, how is one to discern where and how each has occurred?
I would be very interested in hearing how others answer these questions as they examine their own lives. Any takers?

Living with Exiles

It is a lot easier to pray for the ingathering of the exiles than it is to live with them.
~ an anonymous Israeli, quoted in From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman
I am beginning to believe that it is not the major, one-time sacrifices that make it the most difficult for us to love our neighbours. Rather, I suspect that it is the small scale, ongoing annoyances that really test the depth of our love. The big events can be twisted so easily into either grand epics (if things go well) or romantic tragedies (if things go poorly). The little things, in general, are what they are.
Let me provide an example from my own life. A few friends and I live in a Christian community house in the heart of what is probably Canada’s most notorious neighbourhood. We have decided that loving those who had been abandoned means living alongside of them. We have come to believe that solidarity is not something that can be practiced very meaningfully from a distance, and we are committed to being friends, and neighbours, and lovers of those around us, instead of being social workers, or volunteers, or outreach workers. Furthermore, because of the especial violence and isolation faced by people who are sexually exploited in our neighbourhood, we have committed ourselves to learning how to journey alongside of this specific group of people.
This is the big step. The step that is easy to romanticise or glorify (actually, I am increasingly wondering how I can even speak to audiences about this without automatically being romanticised our glorified into some sort of fiction that is then safely removed from the lifestyle decisions of my audiences). The surprising thing is that, although it takes some courage to make this decision, it turns out that transitioning into our neighbourhood has been surprisingly easy.
However, it has been the little things that have proven most difficult. Little things like choosing to go out at least one night a week to talk to the people in the alleys and the girls on the corners. Sure, that’s exciting for a little while… but then, you know, other things come up, or I get tired, or I get lazy, or it’s just too cold and rainy out so I put it off. Besides, I’m an introvert and sometimes the thought of going around talking to strangers is just too daunting (or so I tell myself).
And then there’s little things like continuing to develop relationships and invite people into our home that are, well, just plain annoying. People are people and we all naturally connect with different types. Some people annoy us… but the thing about solidarity is that we don’t get to choose to just hang out with people that we really hit it off with (unlike the way in which most of us approach Sunday church). Christian community, Jean Vanier reminds us, is about being a family together. It’s not that we are friends, we are brothers and sisters — and, although we choose our friends, we don’t get to choose our family members.
In my work as a “street youth worker,” I can schedule in the times when I hang around with annoying people and I can reserve large chunks of time to myself (i.e. like when I’m at home and not at work). When I live in a Christian community that is trying to be an open community, I lose a lot of that freedom. Now, I’ve got people hanging out with me when all I want to do is grab a book and veg out in my room.
In a way, I think that this experience is comparable to the way that people describe the first year or so of marriage. In marriage, they say, you learn how selfish you are. You realize how much you just did what you wanted to do when you wanted to do it. In marriage you, more often than before, have to do what you don’t want to do when you want to do something else. Living in a Christian community is something like that (and, by the way, that’s why I think marriage is not the end of our journey away from selfishness but is a good first step to learning how to, as a couple, live other-centred lives in the community of faith — instead of, as a couple, just doing what you want to do when you want to do it).
It is developing the daily discipline in the little things, it is living patiently with small annoyances that is the most difficult aspect of this transition. Yes, it is a lot easier to pray for the ingathering of the exiles than it is to live with them. But that is the only option we have. Our prayers for the ingathering of the exiles are mostly meaningless unless we are participating in that ingathering.
I think that our failures in all of these small ways shows just how shallow our love is for others in comparison with the love that we have for ourselves.

What sort of neighbour am I?

About two weeks ago I was walking to work in the rain and I passed by a homeless man. He was an older fellow (probably in his fifties), standing next to a suitcase and a rolled up sleeping bag. As I went by he asked me for change, but I didn’t have any. I told him so and kept walking. However, he called after me: “Do you have an extra smoke?” I did, so I gave him one. And then he broke down.
He began to cry, and told me about how he had been living in one of the cheap hotels in my neighbourhood, but it was all just too, well, scary. He was heading to the bus station to try and get out of town. But he was so terrified that he didn’t know if he would make it.
It’s hard for me to describe what I saw. Every now and again I have seen, on the faces of people I have encountered, absolute naked despair. I still remember the first time I saw that sort of despair (on the face of a fellow who had just relapsed — again — who came to stay at the shelter I worked at in Toronto). It is a hard thing to behold. It sort of hits you in the chest. Furthermore, I don’t think this man knew the first thing about street life, I think he was just one of those seniors who doesn’t have anybody and ends up falling through the gaps in society (it’s amazing how easily that happens).
Anyway, this grandfather looked at me, his voice cracking, and pleaded: “I’m going to make it right? Right? I can make it?” And so I put my hand on his shoulder, I looked him in the eye, and I told him, “Yes. Yes, you’re gonna make it. The station is just up the straight. You can do this.” And he was so grateful, we seemed to connect, and he seemed to gain some hope from my words. “Okay,” he said with relief. “Okay, I’m gonna make it.”
So then I walked away. I needed to get to work on time and I was feeling pretty good about myself. It was all so… sentimental. But then, later that night, I got to thinking, and I remembered the story Jesus told about the good Samaritan. And I remembered how the religious leaders walked by the dying man because they had places to go, people to see, and deadlines to meet. And I remembered that the one who truly loved his neighbour was the man who stopped and tended to the dying man and took him to a place where he would be safe. And I thought about how I had acted. And I realized that I was not a very good lover of my neighbour. I realized that I pride myself on journeying alongside of those in exile and yet, in this situation, I had completely failed to love my neighbour.
You see, I should have walked with that grandfather to the bus station. I should have bought him a ticket and put him on a bus and called to say I was going to be a few minutes late for work. No ifs, ands, or buts. Of course, by saying this, I don’t mean to suggest that there is no power in speaking affectionate timely words, but Christian love never stops with words alone. Those words must be embodied in actions — and sometimes giving out free cigarettes isn’t nearly action enough.
Since moving into the downtown eastside, I can remember at least two other situations where I realized, after the fact, how I had completely dropped the ball (oddly enough, both of those other situations also occurred when I was walking to work). I have realized that I still have much to learn about what it means to journey alongside of those who are in exile, and much to learn about what it means to love my neighbour in both mundane and unexpected situations.
This is a part of the reason why it’s so important that the Church be rooted on the margins of society. It is our day-to-day involvement in such places that reveals our blind-spots to us. We need to have these encounters in the midst of our mundane routines so that we can learn, more and more, how to move into ever deeper intimacy with God and with his beloved (yet broken) creation. And we need to learn this as a community. Because I can be a slow learner at times, and others will have learned something before me. When we go it alone then who knows how many people will suffer because we are slow to learn what love means in this or that situation. Because I don’t know if that grandfather made it to the bus station or not.
Holy Spirit, teach me to love. Teach your Church to love. And, even though it seems like you often do not, please care for those we fail to love. Amen.