You’re Stronger Than You Know

If you’re homeless, blind with fear and sick down to your soles, broken down and so alone you want to crawl out of your skin and be someone else, somewhere else, look my way and know: I’m that voice that flows from your heart that says you’re stronger and more than you know.

If You’re Homeless

by J. Fernandez

If you’re homeless, blind with fear and sick down to your soles, broken down and so alone you want to crawl out of your skin and be someone else, somewhere else, look my way and know: I’m that voice that flows from your heart that says you’re stronger and more than you know. That you’re a dream still unfolding and turning in sweet pain towards the light.

Look my way and know, in your thoughts, your blood and nerve endings, I’m the fire that makes your soul shine. And that you’re all of us — each of us — who struggles every day to find light in the darkness.

Look my way and know, most of all know, that you are and have always been and will always be the beloved.

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Yeshua

by J. Fernandez

I woke to Jesus this morning. Kept me up half the night. Not the Jesus made in Hollywood. Not the one with manicured fingernails on my mother’s living room wall. Not even the one in the Bible.

I’m talking about my Jesus: the dream-eyed, wooly haired, beautiful Palestinian Jew, the revolutionary we rarely hear about. The one born to Mary and Joseph in Nazareth by the sea of Galilee, who had a mysterious love for wood and words, who bled real tears and blood and healed real wounds, except his own. And who was so full of God, so powerful in God, that when he spoke, he was like no one before or after him.

Yes, I’m talking about the one, the only one known as Yeshua to his people, the one who cried love, spoke love, and who died for loving love, humiliated and tortured, nailed to a Roman cross. And yet tonight, up and down centuries of blood, I hear his freedom song, and see hands holding up the sky calling his name:

Yeshua                   Yeshua                           Yeshua

So strong the poor oak table trembles and poets everywhere reach for the root of his song: words that flower and flow, and only grow. How they grow!

Holiday Home (Luke 16: 25). Artwork by Jos Sances. A homeless man finds no home in this scene reminiscent of Thomas Kinkade’s art.

“Holiday Home (Luke 16: 25).”  Artwork by Jos Sances. A homeless man finds no home in this scene reminiscent of Thomas Kinkade’s art.

 

The Gift

by J. Fernandez

The woman with the silver hair, worn and frail, sits at her window and sees everything, all the time listening to the blind and homeless harmonica man play the blues in the rain, bursting with the wild-eyed colors of a love-hungry ghost, the shivering howl of an isolated human being.

Now screaming, now whispering, now praying, “Lord, here I am. Here I am,” while leaves stream down the street as silent and as indifferent as the world, except for the woman with the silver hair.

She hears the plea and knows too well the silence and aloneness of aging, and responds with a gift of hope: “I’m here too, bluesman. I’m here too!”

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.