Thursday, November 22, 2007

NOV 22: Giving Thanks For Shoes

You might have thought on this day that I would have posted a picture of a fantastic pair of designer shoes that I got a tremendous deal on, or a pair I bought to celebrate a thankful moment, or...
but no.
Instead these are the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree shoes.
They are a sad pair of pseudo rodeo/Annie Hall boots that I bought when living in San Diego shortly after joining a church that was very very very different from the Catholic one I grew up in.

On Thanksgiving Day, instead of inviting the priest over for a few glasses of wine followed by whiskey in front of the fireplace where he would pass out splay-legged and snoring, instead of that, it was Give To The Homeless Day, of which, due to the the perfect weather, there were a great many.
On that day, the people of our church fed, clothed and offered jobs to the homeless folks of our community with the aid of many donations and a few kind employers who probably later regretted their decision when their petty cash went missing.
That day pretty much changed my life. I tried on a cloak of humility and swallowed a large lump that might have been Catholicism.
Did you ever tell someone you'd help out "wherever they needed you to," secretly wishing they would give you the best job but not wanting to ask for it? It was like that.
That was how I got shampoo duty at the homeless shower tent.
My cloak may not have been big enough and that lump may have been something else altogether.

Dirt? Scabs? Rotted flesh? Lice? Bring it on.
Maggots? We got yer maggots.
It was all there.

Afterward, I pulled off my rubber gloves and gave thanks for that day, for the way I got through it and into a better place, for the opportunity to serve and for the opportunity to bless someone without judgment or reserve and for teatree shampoo and RID and for the sad, sick, lonely people that for a few hours had someone to love on them.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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