Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Getting Smacked Upside the Head by the Book of Job

Today at Faith in Action is a tough day. It’s got some of us in tears, and others invoking comparisons to the Book of Job. Me? I’m looking up obscure diseases on the internet and trying to figure out what sort of help I’d most need if I were about to leave my children orphans.

 Now I’ll say that we’ve had a couple of deadbeats come through today. A couple of liars. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Our mental health counselor got stood up and we’ve had some no-shows for appointments, and all of that is marginally interesting but also par for the course. Welcome to the world of social justice.

 And then there are the others. The elderly client living on social security, in a wheelchair, on home oxygen, and caring for a grandchild. Total monthly income $1200; rent is $350, which is dirt cheap even for here but too much for that income. The oxygen generator uses vast amounts of electricity. Last month’s bill: $400. Too much. Can’t be helped.

 Another client dying of a rare genetic disease, with a spouse with end-stage cancer. They have young children.

 Two women from the abuse shelter.

 Someone working 3 jobs, and serving in the National Guard.

 We are the safety net. We just wish we knew how to be a better one.  If y'all have any ideas, for pity's sakes, share them.