Skip to main content

Crazy people and stray dogs

I have a well-deserved reputation for "collecting" stray dogs and crazy people.  (I know some of you don't like the word "crazy", you prefer "mentally ill".  I mean no ill-will, but a lot of the people I'm gonna talk about are pretty...nutty....)

First, the dogs.  I find 'em all the time.  Really - I probably find strays 4 or 5 times a year.  It is not unusual for me to call ahead and tell the kids to set up the dog crate we keep in the garage, as I've found another one.  I've also got a pretty good track record for getting them back home, but a couple of times, I've had to call animal control.  But at least for a short period, they are safe, loved, fed and cared for. 

Then there are the crazy people.  I once had a really strange conversation in the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC with a guy that hadn't showered in the recent past.  Here I am, just soaking in the glorious art and grace of this beautiful building dedicated to Our Mother, and then I'm talking about aliens with this guy.

Yesterday, I got on the bus to go to work, and a man who obviously was living on the fringes of society offered everyone who got on a hearty "hello".  I was the only one who responded, and thus, he conversed with me for awhile.

I talked about this once to a friend of mine, who is both a Franciscan Sister and a therapist.  She said crazy people (and stray animals, presumably) had a sense of who is "safe", and I was a "safe" person.  I'm glad of this, but it sure makes life interesting sometimes.

I felt really bad for the guy on the bus yesterday.  Yeah, he was a little weird and a little dirty, but he was kind, and having a good morning and wanted to share it with others.  No one else responded...or even made eye contact.  It didn't cost me anything to converse with him, and it made both our days a bit nicer.

I cannot imagine life on the streets, either as a person or as a dog.  There literally is danger everywhere.  You are unsure about the very basics of life:  food, shelter, water, etc.  People treat you badly simply because of the circumstances you find yourself in.  It must be constantly terrifying, unsettling and sad.

Christ was homeless.  He was born homeless, and then had to flee with Mary and Joseph because of the risk to His life.  He said Himself He had nowhere to lay His head.  While it can be a bit jolting to have these incidents occur in my life, I try to look at it as the "perfect joy" St. Francis spoke of, and let Christ be present, as only He can be, in crazy people and stray dogs.

Comments

  1. the best word,I find, for those of us on temporary or pemenent sabbaticals from reality, is eccentric, or perhaps extremely eccentric , so olde wordly and yet so descriptive

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations for being one in a million. Is hard to find people like you and, like my mom says, we have to stick together to fight for the worlds godness. Continue your good work, im sure joys will come to your life, joys that bad people cant appreciate (poor fulls are just mistaking themselfs).
    Its a gift to have a heart these days.
    p.s. i dont have accounts to publish with name so ill just leave it here. Patricia M. from Portugal

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I love comments, even if you don't agree, but please don't leave anonymous posts. A well-mannered reader leaves a name!

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …