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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Total Desperation

Have you ever noticed that every time you are down in the dumps about something, you seem to run into someone else who has it much worse than you?

Yeah...that happens to me, too.

Yesterday I learned that my request for a financial forbearance on my graduate loans through Citi-Bank was denied, for a really stupid reason. I saw that I had one day to pay my December bill before it doubled, so I robbed Peter to pay Paul, hoping Peter will be more forgiving than I expect. But at least Paul is 1/2 satisfied for now.

And I was in a panic - my account still shows that I am behind, and this is not a good thing. I don't understand how the bank thinks I'm going to be able to pay when what I told them before is still true; I simply don't make enough money to pay this loan right now. I'm looking for another job, I'm praying for a miracle, I'm looking for a way to satisfy the debt. In the meantime, I've paying my undergrad loan, but it means I have to "float" bills and pay them just in time for my next check to be deposited into the account. It doesn't take a genius to realize these are dangerous practices that only lead to disaster - and another huge monthly bill makes things even more precarious.

Unfortunately, what I just described is how a LOT of people are living these days. Others have already had the catastrophe of a dropped ball in that juggling act and are losing their cars, their homes....everything.

A Harsh Reminder

As hard as it is to be in this position, not wanting to ask for help, for after all, I GOT myself into this mess, I should suffer the consequences, right? I didn't HAVE to go to grad school and I knew when I began that I'd be leaving my well-paying job and taking on another...although I did not realize it was one that would increase my debt load, not keep it on an even keel.  Such is life.

Because of these and other thoughts, I was in quite the panic yesterday to realize I am officially in default on a grad loan, in spite of my attempt to keep that from happening.

Well, God had a reminder for me, and it happened while I was driving en route to my brother's house to celebrate his birthday.

An electronic freeway sign announced that the road I needed to take had a blocked left lane due to an accident. OK, fine. I know south Minneapolis quite well so got off at the 46th street exit.  The area has changed since I lived there; now there is a huge bus station there and panhandlers have taken over the area.

Living in the 'burbs as I do, I don't often see panhandlers but at the occasional exit ramp or stoplight if I happen to be going out of my way for some reason.

Yesterday, though, as I approaches the top of the exit, I saw a man holding a cardboard sign; it was bent and frayed on the edges and he dropped it to his side as he crossed in front of me to approach a car in the right lane. I slowed to ensure both he and I that he was in no danger of being struck by me as he received some kind of token. He took it from the driver; I did not see if it was food or money, it didn't matter. He returned to the sidewalk, glancing around at approaching traffic, and again held up his sign.

His hands were dirty; he wore no gloves, and I finally got a glimpse of the sign: 
"TOTAL DESPERATION"  

I didn't make eye contact with him as I was trying to read his sign; when I saw that message and the condition of his hands as he stood in the shadow of the urban sound barriers in 10 degrees, I was stricken.

Glancing towards the seat next to me, I regretted my bag was in the back; I had a nutrition bar in there. It wasn't much, but it was all I could give him. I glanced at the light then suddenly turned to reach behind, knowing I *must* give him that nutrition bar, desperately reaching into the pockets of my bag, clutching, finding only things useful to me - my toothbrush, kleenex, other odds and ends...no nutrition bar. I tried the pocket at the other side, shoving my confused but curious dog out of the way, praying the light would not change.

I've never wanted to give someone something so much as I wanted to give that man this stupid nutrition bar.

I glanced ahead...the light had changed, traffic was coming...I had to go. There was nowhere to pause. There was nothing I could do but move on.

As I passed through south Minneapolis, I couldn't get that man out of my head and I did all I could do; I prayed for him. He didn't know I was trying to find him some food; for all I know he saw the action in my car and thought I was trying to avoid looking at him.

Far from it; I really SAW him in a way I haven't seen a homeless person in a very long time.

No Maybes

Some will read this and fall upon the old party line of cautions against handouts to panhandlers, personal safety, carjackings, etc etc etc.

Sure, there's merit in that, but I had no money to give him although if I did, I might well have given it yesterday. I had but a small thing, and perhaps some of you may recall something I witnessed one hot summer day...and I couldn't forget that image, either. That event is burned into my memory.

So it happened that yesterday, there was a direct collision of my own self-pity against the cold harsh reality of someone else's very real desperation.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

And I still wasn't able to help.

All of us are that dependent upon God; we can do nothing in and of ourselves. Even when we do offer something to others, or desire to, we sometimes are prohibited from doing so.

Who knows? Maybe that man needed a prayer more than he needed food; don't we all?

So please, stop now and pray for him, whoever he is. And when you pass by those in our communities who stand on corners holding signs, at least see them. Pray for them. Offer even an encouraging word. Anything - the dignity of humanity demands it.

5 comments:

Angela Messenger said...

I prayed.

Starlightdreamer said...

As did I.

Tom Hedkvist, 10-gruppen said...

Please support the gay war against heterosexual power. Extinguish hetrosexual people both social and economicaly. Tell kids to se us as the best leaders. We have great influence in media and will change the agenda to put down the heterosexual sociaty. Never buy products or services from heterosexuals (worked fine in the village in the 70th, we banished the hetros, now the method is running at Södermalm Stockholm).
Christianity and all religions are heterosexual constructions and neds to be changed to benefit homosexual supremacy. Help christian homosexuals to infiltrate and tear down the historical and todays christianity + other religions.
Your brain is a weapon, find out how you can be a plague in the enemys life - psychic violence is the response to those who dislike us. +-warning-+ Our unprovoked attack will make them response with physical violence.
Make the religious people hesitate their beliefs, say their god and profets are gay, bring a yes-sayer with you (always) standing on your side, makes it easyer to be convincing. Practice speach with confidence, practice to say a convincing "no" if somebody understand that the queer-theory is a facistic ideology.
Make the gay network global "you must keep networking". The biggest social network, us, that only consume each others services and products wins (they who doesnt belong to the network will consume our networks products and services and concentrate money to the our network, without knowing it they drain their own economy). If you suspect somebody will hit you when you use psycical violence, just say "nice shirt" then he cant hit you (have you been "niceshirted").
Every hetrosexual shall have problems every day, small problems stacking up. Make their day sour.
Always bring a yes-sayer that stand next to you, pay the yes-sayer whit benefits from the gay network, free clothes, free food, easyer economical support from social insurences.
Use social media to destroy hetrosexual peoples life.
Act against the enemy like a robot - a gaybot, show love only to your brothers.
Backstab the enemy with bad rumors , make the political correct individ hate your enemy.
God bless you!

Adoro said...

Wow, that's the most bizarre missive I've ever had the confusion to read, deposited right here in my combox.

The spelling is atrocious. It will have to go.

Anonymous said...

I just did the same thing. I too down on my luck out of work realtor trying my hardest to keep things together which is looking bleaker by the second as panic is setting in for me.
I was on 94 and Ruth in Saint Paul and a man with a cardboard sign was there. I have seen this hundreds of times. I felt the need to help him. I gave him a ten dollar bill which I needed but somehow I think he needed it more. I was praying that I did it for the right reason and not because I wanted something good to happen to me. So pray for him and pray for me too. thank you