Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yet Another Day In the Trenches

Last night, while I was cooking dinner, my 19-year-old son sat on the kitchen countertop and talked to me. He's done this for years, and I treasure it all the more now that he's mostly away at college.

This morning my 16-year-old daughter and I rode early, before I went to Faith in Action, because it's going to be so stinking hot later today. We walked up the big hill to make our horses' butts stronger, then did flatwork in the field. It was a gorgeous start to the day.

Later I was at FIA, entering the clients who'd been interviewed that morning into our database. We keep lots of data. Previous client, not been here in awhile. Married, two children, employed at the same low-pay job. Same address, phone number as before.

Turn the page. Low but steady income. Food stamps. No other federal assistance. Expenses are rent, electric, moderate sum for cable/Internet excused by the presence of teenagers in the home who mostly need the Internet for schoolwork nowadays. Moderate sums for all expenses, no payday or title loans, nothing out of whack except $200 a month for tobacco.

I sigh. It slightly burns my butt when people spend more for tobacco than the amount due on the electric bill they're asking for help with. I know Jesus prefers the nonjudgmental version of me but sometimes my judginess feels really really justified.

Turn the page. What is the crisis bringing this client in for help?

Sixteen-year-old son has Stage 4 brain cancer. Treatment, transportation to treatment, and time the parents are taking off work to take him to his treatment are costing more than they can afford.

Some days, all you can do is pray for mercy. For the clients, too.