I opened my eye’s this morning to the darkness that filled my bedroom. I could hear my wife breathing gently as she slept comfortably on the other side of the bed. Cuddled next to me, a three pound black and grey dog I rescued last year, that we named Mookie. I ran my hand over his soft coat and he snuggled up even closer than he was.
I saved him, and I think he knows it. His mother died before he was old enough to feed himself. At four weeks of age I could hold him in one hand, I even walked up to speedway to get an ice tea one day with him peaking out of my pocket. He’s about a year old now and because he’s so small he is unable to defend himself in this big world, from the other two rescued dogs we have; a twelve pound black short haired Yorkie/Chiwawa named Bella and our seventy pound mixed boxer, Roscoe.
Mookie gets pushed around a lot. He was born into a life of being the least, one who has to fight for crumbs with the reality that he will be stepped on or bit if he gets in the way of the greed our other two dogs possess, with pride and arrogance. If I didn’t intervene on a regular basis, poor Mookie would probably starve to death because he’s even pushed away from his food dish and forced to eat last. At night when he craws in bed with me, I have to guard his place next to me because Bella tries to force him out or steps on him like a bully before she goes to the front bedroom to sleep.
As I began to wake up this morning I realized that the stench of the heavy burden I carried home yesterday from Davidson Street Bridge still loomed in the air where I fell asleep last night watching news reports aired that day on the internet about the homeless, with my wife. I arrived at the bridge Monday around six o’clock in the morning. I had to park a block away because the streets around the Davidson Street bridge was filled with vehicles from the news channels and various supporters who stayed the night.
The sound of generators running filled the air. Satellite dishes extended hight into the sky from every news broadcasting network station in the city. Cables stretch down Maryland street from the trucks to ground zero where stands of lights and cameras where set up.
Reporters sat in their vehicles quietly waiting for the moment they where needed to stand in front of the cameras as I walked down this dark, now transformed street, where chatter and laughter was heard Sunday afternoon as all of us came together as a family to hear God’s word and chow down on some good food provided by Little Bethel Church.
Suddenly the darkness slipped away as the bright lights came on to aluminate a reporter for the camera she stood in front of, as she spoke I heard her say that these people have been asked to leave by the city on many occasions in the last week. When someone ask you to do something you have a choice, you can either choose to do what your asked to do or not, but when someone tells you to leave your home or go to jail its a different story, your choice has been taken away. Who in their right mind wants to go to jail?
From the east, the sun with splendid colors began to rise in its strength to push the darkness away from the face of the earth and Davidson Street Bridge. Looking at what was left of the community of people I have grown to love, my heart sank in dismay to see what I can only describe as a, “Ghost Town of the long lost west”.
The people fled in the night chased by fear; the fear of going to jail, the fear of losing what little they had. American citizens becoming refugees in their own country, in their own city, by people who took office with an oath to protect and serve all of its citizens. What I witnessed monday will never leave me, things like… if the American flag that flew under the bridge hadn’t been rescued when the order when out with a loud shout by a city official, “Throw everything away!” I believe the work crew would have torn it down and thrown it into the garbage truck.
Oh America, America… where have you gone? You once cried out to all of the earth, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” I witness a woman crying in front of a camera as she was asked by a reporter how she felt about what was happening. She replied in a broken voice and tears streaming down her face, “This was my home, I was safe here, surrounded by the only family I have, this was all I had and now it’s all gone.” another man speaking to reporters turned to the camera and said, “Listen up America, most of you out there is one pay check away from being me! This is your tax dollars at work!”.
I witnessed the homeless trying to give water to the workers tearing the camp apart to quench their thirst from the heat of the day only to be turned away by city officials.
A husband held his wife close as she wept and cried in his arms, I heard her say, “Whats going to happen to us, where can we go?” All I could do is wrap my arms around both of them and in turn they reached out and held me as a brother… they held me as family. I left them with the promise that they are not forsaken, I walk away with her tears on the front of my shirt and the firmness of his grip in my hand.
Who will protect these people from the big dogs who snatch even the crumbs away, that fall from the masters table? Who will stand up against the bullies and gather the least of these into a strong arm of protection?
By sunset, everything was swept, picked up and thrown away. Today we live in a throw away society, if it isn’t good enough throw it a way and get something new. If it’s broken… you don’t need it, throw it away!
Does this include broken people?