So I took this picture outside of St. Francis of Assisi church in Manhattan just a few minutes ago. I walked past the same statue and plaque at a little before 5:00AM this morning as I was walking to work. The difference was early this morning there were about 20-25 people sleeping on the sidewalk all around the statue. As a quietly moved through the sleeping crowd I came upon two men having a conversation. One of them was sitting up in his “bed” the other, a very well dressed man, looked like he just stopped to ask questions. Intentionally slowing my pace as I approached them I heard the “local” gentleman say something along the lines of
…it’s usually the same people here every night, we’re safe here…we’re safe together…
Not wanting to intrude I quietly said a little prayer and kept moving. Not 15′ from where the last person was sleeping a Mercedes pulls up and as the driver opens the door several people and some obnoxiously loud music come spilling out onto the street. As they wobbled past a half asleep doorman, completely oblivious to both me and their neighbors who are living on the street literally under their noses, I couldn’t help but think of the irony of the plaque and statue that silently stares them in the face daily. In New York you can get into a fiery debate about the way people are being treated on our southern border, but those same people will step over someone to get into Starbucks without breaking their stride. The hypocrisy of only caring based on the political mongering of people in power while you allow your own community to have to sleep on the streets in clumps to find safety is disgraceful. I live a paycheck to paycheck life and it makes me sick to see places like this, and unfortunately many others throughout the city, and not be able to do more than the little I do. I try to make it a point to always have a little money in my pocket to give out, and on more than one occasion I’ve given out whatever food my wife has prepared for me for lunch to people who looked like they needed it more than me. Don’t get me wrong , I truly believe that if someone is trying to come here for a better life for themselves or their family than they absolutely should be able to, but caring is caring. Protecting life isn’t a buffet. You don’t get to pick and choose which lives to save. You can’t fight to protect people trying to come into the country while ignoring the ones who are dying at your feet because they doesn’t fit some political model. Or be crying for the slaughter of baby dolphins in Scandinavia while being outraged if someone speaks out against planned parenthood.
…whatever you did for one of my least brothers or sisters, you did for me…
It’s not just about what we do, it’s about what we fail to do as well. To truly live our faith is not an easy or popular thing, but it’s what we need to do non the less.
Be the light. God bless.
More and more I find myself wanting to remove myself from social media. There was a time when I would enjoy a good debate. Sometimes, opinions would change from seeing things from another perspective, sometimes they wouldn’t, but regardless we would part amicably. Unfortunately those days are sadly gone. The level of intolerance (usually being exhibited by those complaining most about the intolerance of others) and animosity that people are unleashing on each other is nothing short of demoralizing. But the thing that bothers me the most is actually the thing that keeps me coming back. Too often you see people trying to use the Bible as an end all be all weapon to prove their point. Regardless of political or social beliefs people are able to Google a quote to “fit” their argument. Truthfully on some level part of me is happy that they are at least “reading” parts of the Bible. In the same manner that I leave chapter and verse notations in underground structures at work, it’s my hope that when these people read one it will inspire them to read more. To learn more. With that said even if you have the most righteous of intentions the Bible is not a weapon. It’s more of a hybrid mix of a survival manual for your soul, an instruction manual of our faith, and a compass to lead us back in the right direction of/when we wander. The words of the Bible are not there to divide, they are meant to show us the way. The truth. The life.
Throughout the Bible, in both the old and New Testament, we’re told not to change the word of God. Not to add to the word of God. Now what inspires me most to make this fight and stand my ground, whether it’s on social media or the street, is the book of Galatians. This particular book was written by Paul, who like you and I, never met Jesus while he was flesh and blood here on earth but still he was truly one of the most devote non the less. In these letters he wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to interject when he saw the word of God being misused or bent to satisfy a human need. He even had the fortitude to question Peter, the rock of the church.
In no way do I even dream of myself worthy to be in the same conversation as Peter, Paul, or any of the apostles for that matter, but don’t you think we should all want to be, that we should all aspire to be. I’ll leave you with two parting thoughts. First, the mission laid out for the Apostles and the early followers of Christ is the same as it is for us. To live as Christ did, while teaching others by our actions and the word. And remember that for those who don’t know about Christ, we are the only example they will get to “see” Him.
Be the light…
We are called to live by our faith, not by our sight. How many of us actually do it? The truth is for most the idea of giving up control…or at least the feeling of control we give ourselves is terrifying. But if you can…
When you can…
When I do…
It’s not terrifying. It’s freeing. To give up your fear, your stress, your pain to God is awesome. Now even as I write this I know I will fall, I will let those earthly emotions back in, but also know that I will keep giving them up to God until the day when my trust and faith will always overwhelm my fears.
Be the light
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
So it’s been a bit since I’ve posted, between working 2 jobs, trying to get my board wax business moving, and just life in general finding time to write has been tough. I will say I’ve enjoyed and been inspired by reading other people’s posts. On more than one occasion I’ve heard what I’ve needed in someone else’s words, so thank you. I don’t know how the video option is here, but I definitely think I’m going to give it a go. There’s so much I want to say and talk about, but my typing skills are sub par at best. With that said, I hope you all are living the faith and I look forward to speaking with you soon. God bless.
21 years ago today I married my best friend. Kerri you are the love of my life, the woman of my dreams, and the absolute object of my desire. I know I’ve said it before but the best part of my day, everyday, is you. After 21+ years just the thought of you makes me feel like a “newlywed”. In the craziness of this world the love we have is so strong…so perfect and you described it best the other day when I you said…no matter where we are, as long as we’re together, that is home. I love you Kerri and I thank God everyday for giving me you. Happy Anniversary!
Over the weekend I was doing a little “handyman” work on Fire Island. After a few hours of work between the sun/heat, mosquitos, and just the physical labor I was feeling pretty beat up. But in the midst of all that was happening if I stopped and listened I could hear the sound of the waves from the other side of dunes. So I put my tools down, grabbed a bottle of water and took a walk to the other side. Perspective is truly everything.
Two different worlds.
Between the water and the breeze coming off the ocean the heat and bugs were nonexistent. Within a few moments of sitting there soaking in the peace and solitude my mind was calm and clear. Being in a place like that , both physically and mentally, I couldn’t help but start talking to God. The fact is even though we unfortunately can’t always be just a few steps away from a calming beach we are always just a prayer away from God. So whenever life seems like it’s getting ahead of you, or even when it’s not, take a moment, and have a quick conversation with Our Father in heaven. One of the greatest gifts we have as Christians is prayer. To have the power and ability to speak with God where and whenever we want is awesome. It’s blessing that I utilize everyday, and when I close my eyes to pray I picture myself sitting with Christ In a place very similar to this…just better waves…after all Christ and I both surf (Mathew 14).
Remember to always live the Faith. God bless.
When I’m caught in the trials of my daily commute it’s thoughts of how I spent my weekend that pushes me through.
Always live the faith. God bless.