Wednesday, September 29, 2010

While we were sleeping.

This morning, Hannah and I walked by a pile of someone's belongings that wasn't there 24 hours ago.

If you live in public housing in West Dallas, and you, for whatever reason don't pay your rent, the authorities come and put all you own outside the gates of your apartment on the front curb.

They dump everything, including the contents of your refrigerator.

Eviction looks like this.

Sometimes, if you know it's coming, you can carry away most of your clothes, your baby pictures, your kids' shoes. Sometimes, it happens while you're at the grocery.

Sometimes, your kids come home from school to find out they don't have a home any more. Sometimes, you all walk to the bus-stop carrying all you can in suitcases and backpacks.

After all you own is dumped on the curb, sometimes your neighbors will come and take what they want from the pile that used to be your stuff and take it home with them.

Then, after everything's been picked through by everyone else, sometimes kids will come by and tag all your stuff with spray paint.

The poor learn to hold loosely to their things because this is a scene they're familiar with. I hold tightly to my things because this scene still surprises me.

I talk about holding loosely to my things because that's what Scripture tells me to do but I'm not sure I really know what that means. If I had to take with me only what I could carry, would the vintage wooden dough bowl on my kitchen table still be as fabulous? The architectural pieces I found at the flea market? My uncomfortable but pretty shoes? My curling iron and flat iron and hot rollers?

Probably not.

It's made me think today, what, of all my stuff really, really, at the end of the day, matters. It's actually, when push comes to shove, very little.

They all have heartbeats.

17 comments:

Kristen said...

Wow. Nothing like a healthy dose of conviction with my granola this morning. :) Seriously though, thank you so much for this post. I needed to hear it!

I Just Want A Cup of Coffee said...

Amen, Sister. Mine all have heartbeats too. :)

ty said...

That is just awful. For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone expects the poor to raise out of poverty when they aren't given a fair chance.

I don't even know what I'd take. It's something for me to think about.

These Three Kings said...

I hate seeing that :(
I too hold on to things so tightly..shame

Henley on the Horn said...

I'd take our heartbeats and photos... memories are what matter. So sad.

Marian said...

Excellent post.

Holli said...

i hold tight to shoes.... stuff too.... praying for that family who lost their stuff.
sad stuff.
very convicting!

Ashley said...

Definitely convicting and eye opening! My family has come close to this before, but God in His sovereignty provided a "ram." My heart goes out to this family...I pray God provides a "ram in the bush" for them too.

Candy said...

Oh my! What a wake-up. Again!
Thanks, Melissa.

Nanny

Joyce said...

Definitely something I've been thinking a lot about lately and hearing about from many different directions. Really excellent post.

The Smittys said...

well said hood mama! i am working on a post where i was recently reminded that our treasure is in heaven. thanks for your thoughts!

Kim said...

What a wake up call.
As always, thanks for sharing!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Sara said...

Wow. Thanks for posting.

Becca said...

I was feel a little shook up seeing their lives all sprawled out like that . . . I wonder the same things - and thanks for these words today! Love you friend!! We are desperately trying to plan a trip to TX to see y'all and our friends in Waco sometime soon!

Amanda said...

I was burglarized years ago. I was young and had not collected much, but my hundreds of CDs (this was long before ipods!) were taken as well as my lovely jewelry, tv and checkbook. Instead of being mad I was sorry for whoever was so desperate. All of the forged checks written were at restaurants and grocery stores! They were hungry. I was "relieved" of my earthy things and it didn't feel that bad. There have even been times that I'm grateful for the experience. In fact, I don't think I ever bought another tv.

Anonymous said...

A song by our favorite lyricist. It has helped us with perspective. Perhaps it will be of some benefit to you as well as you evaluate what is real treasure. Plus, any song about skinny dipping has to be a favorite of mine :o).

Love,
christy Lafferty

FARTHEST SHORE
by David Wilcox

We were there in the woods by the water

We left our packs up against that willow tree

We dove right in, keeping just what we were born with

Our Memories, Knowledge and Dreams



As I swam away from our possessions

I imagined that they were gone forever more

And for once I was glad that all I treasured

Would still be with me as I reached other shore.



So...Let me dive into the water,

Leave behind all that I've worked for

Except what I remember and believe

and when I stand on the farthest shore

I will have all I need



After the blaze burned our cabin down to ashes

Where we'd slept warm, now the sky lets in the rain

I found the strings, frets and rusted latches

But I will never hear that old guitar again

These four walls are only in my memory

Where these stone steps rise to nothing in the air

So one last look and I'm headed for the river

To wash my hands and try to say this prayer



So...Let me dive into the water,

Leave behind all that I've worked for

Except what I remember and believe

and when I stand on the farthest shore

I will have all I need



When my time to live this life is over

I'll tip my hat when I think about that swim

And of all the things that make a life worth living

That only come to those who dive right in



So...Let me dive into the water,

Leave behind all that I've worked for

Except what I remember and believe

and when I stand on the farthest shore

I will have all I need



All I need.....

Let me dive into the water...

It's all I need....

TDM Wendy said...

WOW.