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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Untitled II

I don't really want to write this story out. This one... This one must be dealt with carefully, must be without pretension or conceit. Must be without pride. It should be said, for Keith, I think it should be said.

After realizing this morning at breakfast that we (especially me) needed to spend more time in the community just hanging out and less time dreaming up visions and ideas and parties - we spent the majority of the day catching up with friends we'd neglected and just being present. The parties and events will come. Maybe in twenty years, but those will come someday, birthed out of relationship and genuine knowledge and understanding of the community and a agape love for the people.

It was getting late, and we had already done liturgy with a friend - time for bed - but we stood up and looked out our large front window and saw many of our neighbors hanging out outside the building (Single Room Occupancy); Sher said... wanna bring out some ice cream sandwiches? Tonight, we just couldn't resist. We realized afterwards that the Holy Spirit had prompted that nudge. Thanks.

Handing out sandwiches to everyone, even the police officers in their SUV parked next to the building, we had a good time talking with our neighbors. All of the sudden, it came up in conversation that the reason the police were outside waiting was because someone had just died in the building from a heroine overdose. A man who was getting high with him in the room, was standing right there, blaming himself for Keith's death. They had gone together to get the drugs and he had waited too long to call the ambulance, not even realizing his friend was sick and dying.

The coroner arrived in a white minivan and brought out the stretch and the body bag. I'd never seen one of those before, empty or full. We watched quietly as some of us outside talked, stood silently, or even joked, reaching for something to say in the discomfort. The bag came back, carrying a body, and was sent away in the van and the police drove off. The man's friend stood off to the distance, silent; whispering to himself every so often. We walked over and asked if we could pray - clasping hands with him and a few others from the group that decided to join us we lifted up Keith.

As one woman walked away at the end of the prayer, she looked back at us and said, "When I die I hope someone thinks of me like you just did."

I hope so too. We are thankful God brought us out tonight, out from our home that we could hide behind. God's name was spoken in that moment when there were no other words. I guess, this is why we are in Uptown. Practicing a presence of Christ - trying to at least. It feels bitter to me, I think it is just the first time I saw a glimpse of what incarnational really means. Not because we did anything great in this situation, but just because we were here and listened and sat on the steps with our neighbors, and were invited into their lives, into deep places of their lives. Death brings about a weight that is felt by all, because we will all die.

From our liturgy: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked will I return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

15 comments:

nancy in ks said...

Emma, you are mature, spiritually awake, and are listening to God. You bless me.

Stefano e Amy said...

I'm sorry you had to see that, but at the same time am glad you were there to be a glimmer of hope in such a dark moment. This makes me pray all the more that He keep you safe. Amy in Italy

Donna Boucher said...

"The greatest injustice we have done to our poor people is that we think they are good for nothing; we have forgotten to treat them with respect, with dignity as a child of God. People have forgotten what the human touch is, what it is to smile, for somebody to smile at them, somebody to recognize them, somebody to wish them well. The terrible thing is to be unwanted." Mother Teresa

Donna Boucher said...

"I will never tire of repeating this: what the poor need the most is not pity but love. They need to feel respect for their human dignity, which is neither less nor different from the dignity of any other human being."
Mother Teresa

Robin in New Jersey said...

Amazing...you are being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Praying for your safety and that the Lord will use you in great and mighty ways.

meeshka said...

Emma, I am certain that Jesus is weeping tears of love over your selfless act of grace...

You are reaching out, touching, and changing the world through the power of Jesus Christ.

Your actions, and your words will bless many...

Allison Welch said...

I am so proud of you. Of the choices you make. Eternal choices that most don't ever even see or hear, don't consider as options. You are storing up treasures in heaven. You are exactly where Jesus is. Blessed are the poor in spirit...

melinda sue said...

sobbing... emma i love you dearly. so many lives are touched by the spirit because of you, mine included.

i want to be just like you when i grow up. ;)

Life with Kaishon said...

My heart breaks for him. As I sit here in court this morning next to heroin and crack addicts, my heart breaks.

edc7cfae-b2e6-11e0-8186-000bcdcb5194 said...

Emma, thank you for sharing this tale. Bless you for what you heeding the call. I feel so fortunate to follow your mom's blog and now, that of her daughter as they both inspire me in different ways.

Mary

Kopers said...

Thank you for following in the footsteps or our LORD Jesus Christ. I will pray for you as you minister to the people that God has created in His very own image.

:Jayne said...

You're walking the walk, it is amazing.

Tiffany in Topeka said...

I am so thankful that you were there, open, and available for the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for reminding me what is truly important.

Brenda on the S OR Coast said...

Thanks for saying, "yes" to God.

Emma said...

Thank you for the prayers, encouragements and thoughts. I hope by continuing to listen and be open to the Spirit that opportunities like this (not the death part...) will multiply and happen too many times to count!

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