Be the Cause

A Concrete Bed

Michael’s face touched the fringe of my heart again. A gentle, middle-aged, sullen man found on the streets of Long Beach from time to time.

A homeless man bearing a tattered, discolored blanket. A lost soul finding his way, much like me, actually. A brother with an enigmatic smile.

We served him hot chicken, bread & soda last winter. I nearly wept as he devoured his meal. It soiled his beard and hair – it didn’t seem to matter.

I miss Michael dearly. I miss all that I have yearned to talk to him about. I returned several nights in search of him. All that remained was a cold, forsaken concrete bench.

I just want to embrace him and offer my thanks. And give him all that I yearned to share:

Thank you. Thank you for serving me well. You are without home, yet you are not homeless. There are those who shelter you on benevolent wings of empathy and affection.

My gratitude. For you are attached to nothing. Not residence. Nor obligation. Nor possessions. You sense hunger; you thirst, yet you grasp at nothing.

Thank you for sharing that you are not a veiled, subhuman part of society. Jesus, himself was born ‘without home.’ I can just imagine his parents, poor and exhausted, trudging from door-to-door, begging to be let in.

Yes, you do have a right to dignity and respect; forgive us for talking about you, instead of talking with you.

I miss you so much. I pray that you are content. I trust that you are comforted. Winter is approaching – please draw that blanket closer to you. As you lay on your concrete bed tonight, remember, no man is alone who has friends.

I just hope I served you well.

“One by One” by Rumi (an Ode to walkers/volunteers 4 WFH 2007!)

One by One

one by one
our friends
filled with joy and quest
begin to arrive

one by one our friends
the worshipers of ecstasy
begin to arrive

more friends and sweethearts
filling you with love
are on their way

darlings of spring
journeying from gardens
begin to arrive

one by one
living their destiny
in this world

the ones who are gone are gone
but the ones who survived
begin to arrive

all their pockets
filled with gold
from endless treasures

bringing gifts
for the needy of the world
begin to arrive

the weak and the exhausted
the frightened by love
will be gone

the rejuvenated
the healthy and happy
begin to arrive

the pure souls
like the spectrums
of the shining sun

descending from the high heavens
to lowly earth
begin to arrive

luscious and happy
the blessed garden
whose heavenly fruits
spring forth
from the virgin winter
begin to arrive

those who are born
fron the roots
of generosity and love

taking a journey
from paradise to paradise
begin to arrive

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