Surprise! Two for one today!
Here's a summary of an untypical day earlier this week.
My day started off with Ronald. Ronald once handed me a pair pants he had just changed out of, which I held on to until Andrew informed me he had a history of crapping in his pants. Ronald decided to join us for our morning prayer service during which he spontaneously broke into the Our Father five different times (his abbreviated version at least). The first time, he was simply responding to the invocation "Let us Pray." Valerie, who was leading the service, patiently waited for him to finish, but before she could start, he began reciting it again. One of the staff commented in the spirit of Pentecost that he was speaking in tongues. I guess a prayers is a prayer whenever it's said.
I did not have a set shift for the morning, so I covered the porter shift for Br. Richard. A delivery truck showed up with a shipment of plasticware. When I opened the receiving door, I looked out and saw not a delivery truck, but three police cars, a swarm of officers, and a screaming man on the ground being arrested. A firetruck showed up later. And what was it all for? Public intoxication. Really police? I'll have more to say about them eventually.
That afternoon I worked in the front office and had a delightful conversation with a woman from Boston. She told me she used to be on the other side of the soupline, but a move to Phoenix and a subsequent broken ankle kept her from getting a job and she soon ran out of savings. She is gradually getting back on her feet, and told me she hopes to volunteer again soon. Ultimately, she said she has gained a huge insight from having been homeless herself. I have to admit that the best volunteers I know, such as our maintenance guy, were once in need themselves.
During dinner, I did not have a set job, so I floated around helping other people. I had two interesting conversations. One was with a young man while he charged up his ankle bracelet (yes that kind of ankle bracelet). He expressed his frustration both for his past mistakes and the justice system. His principle offenss was a non-contact sexual offense, when he was...wait for it.....11. He said prison is not about reforming but about money. He himself is trying to get his life back together after a spate of jail visits, but its hard when you are literally held captive around the ankles.
I also talked to a wheelchair bound Apache woman about Native American spirituality. She explained how inherently similar their native spirituality is to Catholicism (I believe she is Catholic), and in some cases she said her people are closer to God because they are more open to the work of the Holy Spirit and constant conversation with God. She even told me her name in her sacred language. A fascinating discussion.