If you have been reading all of my reflections to this point, you may have noticed that my reflections are getting shorter. Perhaps, I am just running out of things to say. I think the real truth is that I am getting tired. Though my body is feeling strong and alive and doesn’t seem to mind all the trekking from breadline to breadline, I have found that my mind is getting tired. The hot sun (predicted to reach 80 today) takes a lot out of this pasty mid-western bred pastor. I am used to spending all my time indoors working, doing counseling and typing away into a computer.
I would have thought that it would be less tiring to just lay about in the sun all day and to do whatever I please, but my mind is as foggy as a June evening in San Francisco.
This morning I did some panhandling at the BART (subway) station. I got an oversized set of wooden hands the night before that had been calling to me. They looked a lot like begging hands. So I held them out to those who were busily heading to work.
I figured that everyone needed a set of hands that were bigger than their own to hold what was too much for them to carry.
It was fun to see the looks on people’s faces when they saw my oversized hands. Some did a double take. Some laughed mightily out loud. Some put some change in it. Some put bigger bills. Some said I should go to the hospital and get my hands looked at. One man told me I should be sent to war (I don’t know what that meant, but I’m assuming it’s not good). Some people winked at me.
It’s amazing how easy it was to do something unexpected and how much joy it was able to bring to people who usually walk to work like expressionless zombies. Later I heard some of the members of the Faithful Fools talk about how they like to walk through the war protests backwards (against the crowd) holding a sign that said: “Fools for peace.” They said that marching the other way hadn’t got us very far in the war effort and they wanted to try something different.
One of the fools, whose clown name is “Afraid,” told me that he wanted to make a statement about some of the ridiculous things that we do for the sake of our fears. So, once he took his clown (minus the 4ft stilts) on the airplane. The airport security line brings up many fears, and lot of rules have been created because of these fears. Sometimes the rules are to make us feel better even if they are not really needed from a security standpoint (like taking off your shoes – only a few shoes meet the criteria to make them dangerous enough to need to be x-rayed). Some of the rules make no sense to anyone (like putting your toiletries in a baggy – even the security people can’t figure out if that is a real protection or not).
In wearing his clown outfit through security and being “Afraid.” He is now on the heightened security list. Some times having a little fun comes at a cost. Maybe airport security is not a joking matter. But, what good is it to be human if we cannot laugh with each other? If we were all able to laugh together, would we still be able to kill each other?
It seems like in our serious Lenten journeys that we sometimes forget to take some time to stop do something out of the ordinary. Lent is the time of shaking up our stale lives and re-orienting them towards God. After all, it seems to me that God(dess) had to do something out of the ordinary to shake us up so that we could receive the gift of grace. I hope you do something unexpected today (and every day) for God(dess)’s sake!
Today I remember the birthday of Jen Nagel, member of the ECP Roster who is awaiting call. Today I pray that we have another ordination soon - perhaps in San Francisco again!!! As I approach my last night on the street, I pray that the hundreds of millions of other homeless individuals across the globe could find shelter and sanctuary. I also pray that all the folk who have been working so hard to promote the life and ministry of Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries may find the end of their wilderness journey and find that we have become the church we wish to be in the world. AMEN.