As I’ve said time and time again, I’ve experienced an enormous amount of grace and mercy in my life this year. So much so, that it’s really altered my world view. If there is something greater out there, at work, even if it is simply the universe itself, making what must be, must be — and even if not — if there is no purpose at all, I still feel it. It is still there. My own human experience makes it so.
Last year, and the year before that, and perhaps even the year before that, what I call the darkness of the world entered my life. I experienced cruel and unjust realities that shocked me. Now, I will never see the world the same way. My, rather tiny, brush with homelessness introduced me to, God, like another plane of existence. That is how unparalleled it was to the life that I had, and it’s not like I was rich. I was poor. But this was different. I wasn’t a person anymore. I was a parasite. It was different. And now, well, I will never be the same person again. Those cruel and wicked parts of the world just kind of showed up at my door step and knocked me off my very idealistic cloud I’ve floating on.
From that point on, I just stopped believing in universal concepts of justice, fairness, and honor. I stopped believing that there is any kind of power in ethics. In truth, I still believe this. Hence newfound radicalism in my previous post.
I just don’t think we can expect justice, fairness, or power of ethics to come out of systems, governments, or power structures. I don’t think it exists. Even a law is worthless if those who wield them are not good people. I think these concepts can and only live in people. Good people. People change lives. The power is in you. I really do believe that the answer is to turn to our neighbors; to organize, and to love harder.
In all honesty, I did turn to God, because that is what you do, naturally, when you’re out of options. I went after the unknown because what was known, wasn’t enough. I prayed a lot. Every night, alone, in a filthy bathroom. I prayed and prayed and prayed.
But, in reality, in the here and now, it was people who became blessings. This isn’t to discredit God, nor is it to credit God either. I think, regardless of God’s position, we were always meant to be the blessing. We were always meant to orchestrate the grace. We were always supposed to deliver the mercy. As it is true also with justice, fairness, and honor.
Each blessing I received was a person. It was a new friend turned ally. It was a social worker who listened when I really needed to be heard. It was being lifted, carried even, by family members and friends, new and old, when I was at my weakest. It was a spouse who shared the darkness, and looked towards the light with. It was the out-pour of support from strangers, through words, gifts, and even financial help. They delivered mercy to me; they orchestrated the grace. It was a real-estate broker, who took on an impossible case, and then under-charged us 4 months later. It was a kind and generous landlord who housed us after nearly a year of homelessness. It was people. It was you.
And now, I try to be you. I try my best to bless others in ways I’ve been blessed. Some days, that might mean reaching out and making sure my friends are okay. Other days, it might mean actively participating in direct action, in standing in solidarity with homeless people. That could mean sending money to a stranger over PayPal. It may also mean buying socks off a shelter’s Amazon wish list. It usually simply means loving people a little bit harder. I truly believe that doing so, loving harder, that’s what it means to do my part in the world. Sometimes it’s not quite clear, and in those times, I simply honor my blessings. I step up to the plate and be my f*cking best.
And, again, I’ll leave you with a song.
Thanks for being here. Thanks for reading. Thanks for sticking around. Merry Christmas.