Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The value of $125.00

What value does $125.00 hold? The most interesting thing about living in Oz is the fact that it is almost impossible to go anywhere without someone asking you for something, mostly money. It's everywhere. Before moving here I've never had this experience. Maybe it's because I had never lived in an urban environment, even my beloved Sonoma is five times larger than the small town I came from, a town with out a stop light... You'll see them on the street corner, or in the middle of an intersection, sometimes just sitting on a side walk, a cardboard sign, or just a piece of paper. The two most common statements are "Veteran, God bless you..." or "Traveling broke, anything will help..." I've been approached in grocery store parking lots, at hotels, walking down the sidewalk, but the most scary encounters are when they try to come up to my car window as I've just finished pumping gas and just gotten into my vehicle or at the fast food drive up as I just finished ordering, even as I'm checking to make sure my car doors are locked and rolling up my windows, they will approach, their lips moving as if I can hear them through the glass. Then the controversial thoughts and questions fill my mind...the obvious, he has nicer sneakers than I do, she looks too clean...and then the self argument and self scolding for the judgement I am starting to make. And it is true, if I were to pass one of these people walking down the sidewalk without the sign most of them would look like you or I. Almost immediately Joan Osbourne's song will start to run through my head....

"If God had a name, what would it be

And would you call it to his face

If you were faced with him in all his glory

What would you ask if you had just one question?

What if God was one of us

Just a slob like one of us

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make his way home..."

With the usual heart pounding and the melody of guilty argument running through my mind I usually end up in the same questioned place, how is it that I've landed in this strange place that I wonder if I'll ever understand...and if your wondering, yes, I often see people giving their money to these people. Over the holidays there was a young woman standing outside of the Target store exit asking everyone if they could spare some change for a hotel room. When AH first told me about her I almost couldn't believe him. A week later baby girl and I had ran into the store for a few things and when we came out the young woman was there asking again...My mothers heart weeped, she looked like she was about 35, and all I could think was, "how did you come to this place that you could do this?" The next thought was fear, even though she did not appear to be a young girl, it is still a dangerous thing to ask strangers even if you are outside a major shopping center. I wanted to say something to her, I wanted to mother her and ask her what she needed and why was she there and tell her that it was too dangerous to do that...I have strayed from my original question and sometimes I wander to places and don't know how I got there... The question, "what value does $125.00 hold?" I think I digressed because I was thinking of how many times I am asked for money, and wonder how many of those askers were of legitimate need... And the question that always follows in my many are there of legitimate need that never ask, they just suffer in silence, given in by default because they believe that there is nothing that can be done, everything is just what everything is...acceptance.

"If God had a face what would it look like

And would you want to see

If seeing meant that you would have to believe

In things like heaven and in jesus and the saints and all the prophets..."

Legitimate : conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards

What value does $125.00 hold? I will reveal the answer tomorrow...

Thank you all for you love, kindness and support during this extremely difficult time for me, I could never begin to express what it means to me...Sleep sweet...

XO Keke

1 comment:

Jules of Whimsicalnotions blog said...

No one tells a story like you ! i shall be back for the value of $125