“SPARK A NATIONAL CONVERSATION”

I just watched Lead Me Home on Netflix, a 40-minute documentary on homelessness in three major West Coast cities.  The short video documentary has a visual quality of a Hollywood movie, which makes it unique, but it is desperately (or is that thankfully?) short on time, plot, and details.  Somehow it manages to be almost great and yet almost lousy all at once.  (I cried.)

But I looked it up on IMBd where it is said the project “aims to spark a national conversation.”

Hmmm…

I’m conflicted about that too, really.  A conversation?  Like a book on my mom and dad’s coffee table in their living room – conversation?  Is that what we need?

But then on the other hand, if you are conversing, then you aren’t ignoring, and that surely has got to be a step in the right direction.  No?

Well, let me presume it is and do my little part to help set off the spark.

I have visited all three West Coast cities over the years, LA and Seattle both several times.  But it has been many years since I visited too, and though I went down to the original Skid Row in Seattle to share the love of Jesus with the bums there, I must say, the video is eye opening.  The ranks of homeless in these cities has swollen tremendously since I last visited; I was shocked.

I don’t know why they call those “squatters’ camps” since to my eye those are shantytowns woven right into the fabric of the city.  I’ve become accustomed to small town and rural life since living in Phoenix and Denver.  We have a homeless population here in Lubbock too, but nothing on that scale.  And it appears, based on the documentary, and information I have through the years, that the explosion of this problem has grown exponentially in recent years.

Homelessness has been there a long time, but these levels are recent.  And they are heartbreaking.

I’m game.

Let’s converse!

3 comments

  1. laceduplutheran · December 6

    I think the language of desiring a conversation boils down to this – before we can tackle a “problem” there has to be an acknowledgement that there is a problem at all. Many people would just rather be distracted and comfortable, rather than have to do the hard work of acknowledging that there is a problem and that it has an impact on them. Make it someone else’s problem is a human reaction. And so a conversation means that people have to deal with reality. And once that happens, then we can move to dealing with the problem in real ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · December 6

      Matt,

      So glad to have you! And thanx for joining the “conversation” too. I was starting to think even this little blog wouldn’t spark anything.

      To your point: You didn’t mention 12 steps, but admitting a problem sounds like one. But ironically, you seem to have put the onus on the rest of us rather than on the homeless.

      Regardless how you feel about the actual 12 step program, the shift FROM the needy one “the addict” or “bum” to the rest of us who, it just so happens have not yet “hit rock bottom,” presents an angle I find interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • laceduplutheran · December 6

        Well, it comes to this – who is the problem? Does the problem reside with the homeless person, or with the society that creates a situation in which someone can be homeless in the richest civilization in history? The homeless person knows they are broken and their life is out of control. How they deal with that comes across in a spectrum of responses. But for others, there isn’t an inherent knowing that they are broken. The middle class has a facade that tells them that they are doing just fine, thank you very much. It’s not me that is broken, it’s that dude over there. I don’t need to do anything different. Meanwhile, the middle class is broken in so many ways – domestic violence, drugs, debt, struggling to pay bills, broken families, finding salvation in an assortment of items and activities, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

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