TR Finds Religion

 

Here’s something new:  I’ve got a new freelance gig, working for a Christian organization.  I know, right?  I can hardly believe it either.  But lest you think I’ve gone off my meds and round the bend, let me assure you these are left-coast Christians and thus all about the loving-thy-neighbor and the feeding-the-poor and not at all about the shaming-the-queers and the sending-to-hell.  So I’m happy about the job and feel good about writing grants for this organization.  I just hope it doesn’t tarnish my heathen cred.

 

Here’s something that’s hard to think about:  When people, especially women, become homeless (for whichever of the many possible reasons), their children become homeless, too.  There’s no magic wall of safety between a minor child and the street except a parent, and sometimes the parental wall crumbles.  There’s no facility where you can just drop your kids off and say, “Hey, I’m in a bit of trouble here, I’ve got no place to stay, and I can hack that, I’m a grown-up, but kids can’t be homeless, so keep an eye on junior ’til I get myself together, ‘kay?”  No, if you are on the street your kids are, too.  If you can’t take a shower, your kids can’t, either.  If you’re hungry, so are they. 

 

In the most recent one-night count of the homeless in King County, which includes Seattle, 34 percent of the people spending the night in the shelters were children ages 0–17.  That’s about 2,100 kids.  Which is not to say that there are plenty of shelter beds for kids.  In fact, a mother with one or more children will have to wait at least a month to get a spot in a shelter.  A month. 

 

The organization I am going to raise grant money for helps homeless women and their children.  It offers a safe place to go during the day.  It provides meals.  Women and kids can shower there, wash their clothes, use the phone, see a nurse, get support, get counseling, and feel loved in a warm place out of the never-ending rain.  And when a woman comes in with children and there’s no shelter for them in a multi-county region, the organization provides a voucher for a hotel night.  Because children shouldn’t have to sleep under bridges, no matter how legion their parents’ failures may be.       

 

The program is an offshoot of a church that was established specifically to minister to homeless women.  On weekends, non-denominational services are held for anyone who wishes to attend.  Everyone is welcome.  No one is shunned.  This church is for those who have lost their way, those who have been abandoned, those who have been abused, and those who can see only darkness from where they are standing.  The pastor, the employees, the volunteers, and the donors shine God’s love, as they see it, on those who need it the most.  And that, my friends, is religion done right.

 

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13 thoughts on “TR Finds Religion

  1. As an east coast Christian, I am not going to take offense, mostly because you are right.  True Christianity is about living like Jesus, who hung out with the sinners and the outcasts.  It is embarrassing to be associated with haters who call themselves Christians.  Your organization sounds like a great one.

  2. Religion is in so many ways, an ugly word.Jesus has been offering compassion to the down-trodden for a very long time, and elevating women as a matter of principle,   So glad you can use your gifts to pitch in this way, Awesome, Jodi!

  3. Sounds like a perfect position for you!  I’ve got a new freelance gig too.  Not the perfect 30 hour per-week salaried job I imagined I might get but still a nice change.  Here’s hoping these gigs make us both happy.  😀

  4.    Yes! That’s what Jesus was really talking about, not all that hate & narrow mindedness. Bless the organization for providing a much needed service & attitude, one that needs to grow more widespread. And bless you for working with them. 

  5. This is awesome.  Your wine-tasting blog led me to this one, (not sure why), and it made me smile to read it.  This is what Christianity is SUPPOSED to be like.  I’ve been going back to church lately and one of the reasons I chose the church I attend is because of this very thing.  Just this morning the preacher was talking about our duty as a Christian to make a difference in other peoples’ lives.  They promoted several organizations and ministries our church supports, one specifically for women and children, similar to this one you’ve mentioned.  I’m glad you are writing grants for them. 

  6. Yeah, I used to be more “republican” until I got involved with those who really need help, just because they were born into the “wrong” families. I suppose Herbert Hoover could argue his idea of letting things balance themselves out through the market in the Depression would have led to a better long-term situation economically, and I suppose FDR cannot claim his New Deal really changed the situation in America for the better from one perspective (the War did though!) … it just behooves us to take care of other human beings when they are in need. I struggle personally with the whole Hoover/FDR dilemma of perspective (which is really just the Conservative/Liberal conundrum … both sides can argue if given the complete freedom to do what they see fit they could solve our ills. And maybe they both are right! Or both are wrong. But logically it does seem if you try to “blend” them together, neither has the potency to do what each predicts.) Why did I just write all this in response to your post? I don’t even know.At least you have a settled view. I work with the poor and kids in juvie, and I see how insidious the problem is, and how troubling to my own privileged existence.And, yeah, I am a Christian. 

  7. I guess my ultimate view, as a believer versus a “heathen,” would be:WHATEVER gets you to eternity. Whatever it takes, good bad or ugly, it would be worth it.Then its not about freedom from want or freedom to do what you want… its about ultimate purpose and fulfilling that for which we cannot see clearly yet.That’s the faith thing, I suppose.

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