Well, I got outed this morning and now I have a fever blister opening on my
lip (because of the fear of being evicted from the Baptist homeless
The shelter added 12 beds to the women’s dormitory yesterday; so they moved
the 90+ existing beds so close together that now we can lie in bed and hold
hands with the women on either side of us. I have been sleeping between
‘Alice’ and ‘Betty’ for 7 nights and we call ourselves neighbors. When the
floor supervisor calls, “Lights out!”, the homeless women say, “Time to go
back to my house”, which means their bed in the ranks. Alice and Betty are
both ‘good Xtian women’ who love JC. I respect their will to lead holy
lives and their surprisingly deep comprehension of Scripture. However, I
have no expectations to ‘convert’ them to be Hebrews (like me), AND I
expect them not to be trying to convert me to be Pentecostal (like them).
End of story.
With the beds so close together this morning, Betty could read my open
siddur as I tried to do my morning prayers. “What kind of book is that?”,
she asked me. “It’s tehill…, I mean, Psalms, mostly Psalms.” A few
minutes later, she looked at the book again. “Is that Hebrew?” …and with
that, I was outed.
I told her that I was reading Psalms, and immediately started reading
out-loud to prove it, Psalm #30: A psalm, a song for the inauguration of the Temple, by David. I will exalt you, Lord, for you have drawn me up and not let my foes rejoice over me. Lord, my God, I cried out to you and you healed me.
I told her I could also read in Hebrew and she replied that she would love
to hear that. I told her I didn’t want a lot of attention, but I would read
for her if she didn’t tell anyone else. I sat next to her on the bed and
read quietly. I was literally shaking and my voice was trembling. I was
very afraid, but the psalm made me feel joyful simultaneously. Betty told
me that she felt so blessed that she could hear the prayers in Hebrew from
me. She said she was so happy that I was there. I smiled my crooked smile
and told her that I understood what she meant. After all, it was not my
life’s goal to be sleeping in a homeless shelter!
You may think that it was going well, so far… but… Alice overheard and
immediately confronted me head on. “Tell me, have you received the Holy
Spirit?” Because of the way she phrased the question, I was able to
truthfully answer, “Of course! You know me. You know I have!” Apparently,
she didn’t mean to offend me. Blah, blah, blah.
I fully expect that by the time I get back to ‘my house’ tonight, word of
the Jew will have spread through the whole building and Betty will not be
so loving to me anymore. Why did I stop taking Xanax? I really need it
today. Remember how I hate scrutiny? How I am recovery from trauma? Plus I
am menstruating. I am very emotional and raw, hence the cold sore on my
lip. Abba, please give me koach. (Strength) I predict they will evict me
within 3 days.
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