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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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”