Black pearls and diamonds. Poverty and homelessness.

 

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Opulence.

I just love the sound of that word.

Black pearls and diamonds. Limousines and summer homes.

Plenty.

That’s more my style.

It’s lots of  leftovers and clean sheets. A tank of gas and a car to put it in. Warm coats and several pairs of gloves.

Opulence. Plenty.

All things are relative as long as you have enough.

But, if you hit bottom, it’s really hard to climb back up. Maybe it’s the inability to get a job because you have no fixed address. Or, maybe you have no fixed address because you can’t find a job. A disability check covers the rent but not the food. The kids are hungry because it’s spring break. That means no free lunches for at least ten days.

My 78 year old Mom works intake for the social services division of her church.

“Cold pizzas donated by Little Caesars are the only way some people on disability checks survive,” she says.

Sure, there are scammers and lazy bones who try to beat the system, able bodied adults not interested in contributing to the economy. Some panhandlers who hold up cardboard signs of woe at traffic lights make more money than I ever will in one day.

Before you lift your TV remote in a gesture of reproach, remember this.

Not all those who are “down and out” have chosen to live that way. Some struggle to take the medication that allows them to function. Others are single moms who’ve lost their jobs and can’t get back on their feet. Sometimes it’s a culmination of medical bills that push an otherwise  financially well-situated person over the brink.

Then, there is the matter of lost souls who sleep on the street.

My advice?

Think twice before you shake your head in disgust.

Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”.

The Son of God was homeless, too.

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