Alright! Alright!! Alright!!!
Settle down, Beavis.
(Sorry, I need to console my inner psych patient.)
The other day I published a post on “dirty looks.” (It was well received, thanx.) In that post, I suggested you go sit on a park bench with a bum (yeah, I said “bum” (not to further dehumanize “people suffering homelessness” (you do that enough without using the term already), but to make you uncomfortable as I use the term you mean when you label bums “people suffering homelessness.))
Yeah. This is a bit offensive. But then my blog stinks, in case you haven’t read that. (If you want to, click this link.) I don’t have some love affair with awful, putrid smells. I prefer a sweet smell of a flower or of baking bread just like the next guy. But I also see that some humans just plain stink, yet this is no excuse for excluding them.
I recall a psych patient who came in for an extended stay at our psych hospital who refused his shower for months as he struggled with his psychosis. He belonged with us too, but his smell was horrendous. Still, in time, the kindness we showed him helped, and eventually he returned to his right mind and smell, and none of us regretted the sacrifice we made to help him get there. It took months of sacrifice with no guarantee of success.
So… How do I represent?
I suggested you split a sandwich with a bum for fifteen minutes out of your whole life. Fifteen minutes of sacrifice from your whole life. Fifteen minutes from your whole life where you join a bum in her humiliation, shame, and pain getting lectured by the expert in “dirty looks.”
Your whole life.
… “God’s work.” (Yeah, if memory serves me, I called it “God’s work” and though the post was well-received, no one refuted this statement. It’s God’s work.)
Your whole life.
So… I am just wondering…
How’d it go when you did it?
You did do it… Right?
You ran right out and did it. I have faith in you. I TRUST that you did it.
Had a few days now, and you did it.
Hey! Don’t knock it!
I’ve had at least two respondents to this blog who felt the call of God, who this blog challenged, and they were moved to hit the streets to see what’s up out there. Two who responded to me! And you know… for every bear you see in the woods, there’s two more you don’t – as a rule of thumb.
I was feeling really impassioned when I whipped that post out the other day. Real impassioned. I almost wrote about what was stirring me up, but I wrote and published that impassioned post instead. And it was well-received (at least by today’s standards (this blog used to get a lot more traffic in years past).)
Mrs. Agent X took some of our young, foster/adopted children to a dental appointment the other day, and at least one of them experienced an episode of… of… of… well, I am not a qualified doctor, but let’s call it a panic attack which led to a psychotic breakdown. The one child suddenly acted out in a major display of chaos, causing Mrs. Agent X to have to run after the child and restrain him until help arrived. It also set off the behavior in one or two of the other children, making them unruly too.
I don’t wish to make unnecessary excuses for the behavior of my children, and no doubt my poor parenting choices have a negative impact on that too. I am no expert parent be any stretch; I’m just the one who stepped up to the challenge for a bit more than fifteen minutes of my whole life, who went so far as to give my love, my home, and my name to this child, but not your expertise.
I don’t mean to make unnecessary excuses for the behavior of my children, but you surely realize they didn’t come into foster care because it was just so good with their birth parents! Every one of my kids came into THIS WORLD hooked on dope. Umbilical cords shriveled up like diseased vines through which oxygen and vital nutrients competed with alcohol, cocaine, meth, and anything else that would get a mama high.
Do I sound a bit raw?
I (not to mention Mrs. Agent X who was actually there for the event) went through a series of emotions upon hearing about trip to the dentist and more emotions when I came to the aid of the child later. But when Mrs. Agent X described to me the “dirty looks” she saw on the faces of other people in the dental office, I felt betrayed.
The expressions on the faces of others there toward my wife and kid registered as disdain, as putting distance between them and us, and as judgment for poor parenting.
NOW… TO BE FAIR…
There was no debriefing session where things got explained. There is a lot of bias on the part of Mrs. Agent X as well as any bystanders, meaning she could have misread those expressions of love as disdain. She absolutely COULD have.
Somehow, I doubt that’s the case.
If you haven’t already found a bum on a park bench to share a sandwich with and fifteen minutes of your life, put that on your to-do list this weekend.