The other day I was flipping channels and hit one of those shows that I hate - it was probably "COPS", I'm not sure. I usually turn the channel as fast as possible because I just can't stand to see the way most of the people live who are on those shows. This time I stopped though. They had a drunk guy pinned to his bed in a trailer park and were asking him about beating his wife. They told him the neighbors had seen the whole thing. They went outside and his wife was sitting there, her face all bruised and swollen. She was drunk too. They began to question her and she denied he did anything to her, and defended his actions. The police told her, "Mam, the neighbors saw the whole thing. Are you defending him because he is on parole?" She told them that she had been drinking and didn't want to leave the bar and he had to force her to come home and was trying to force her into the trailer. I sat there and thought about that show and the reason I always turn the channel - because I can't stand to see the way so many people live. And I started to cry. These are people's real lives.
How long are we going to keep flipping the channel?
There is a liquor store directly north of our house on 87th street. As a result there is usually a group of men hanging about. Usually a group of drunk men. When I walk to the church I have to walk through them. I used to resent this. They set out milk crates. I have to step around and over their garbage and broken bottles.They have never bothered me. In Fact they are excessively polite and call me "Mam". A while ago I began to feel my resentment change. They made me think about my grandfather and my uncles. When I would walk by they began to tug at my heart. Now that tug is an all out ache. Now I find that although I hurt over their predicament, I am grateful for their presence. It is the only thing that keeps me from becoming a good church person.
How long are we going to keep stepping around and over them on our way to church?