Sunday, January 8, 2017

Charity City is what it was Called; Crazy City is what it was

   It was a town where no mouth went unfed, and no one laid down at night without a bed. You could search the night's street corners in vain for a homeless person, and not find one, for they were all tucked safely away in beds.
   Oh, was this town ever unusual. Most towns have bigger aspirations. They want to have an NFL football team, or to attract Boeing or Facebook or some other notable company. Seeking to be refined in every way, they want to boast of  their entertainment, their education, and their economy. (I guess we could call that the three E's.)
   Ah, but this city? It aspired to no more than housing all the homeless people. Oh, it might have wanted that MLB franchise, and that Microsoft headquarters, but, most of all, it wanted to help the homeless. It wanted to be that place where all other cities sent their homeless.
   They read some scripture about a place where all nations would flow to in the last days, and must have mistakenly thought having all nations flow into you should mean bringing homeless people in from around the world.
   They saw that sign Emma Lazarus posted in the New York Harbor -- the one that says something about taking in the starving and staggering, the cold and unkempt -- and they took it a little too literally.
      "Give me your tired, your poor.
   "Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      "The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
    "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
      "I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
   Yeah, that poem was pretty much gospel to them.
   Talk about a good way to tear into your economy, and attract crime. Were these guys (was this city) crazy?
   Still, they did it, and did it with aplomb. They not only took in all the homeless people, they bettered them. They placed them in jobs, when they could. They got them off drugs, when they could. But, for those who wouldn't or couldn't work or wouldn't or couldn't quit drinking, they helped them, just the same.
    Christian City, USA. Christian City, international. I've never seen anything like it.

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