Indignant Anger

Indignant

Indignant
Photo: Marc Samsom 2011

You don’t want to know me. You say you do, but let’s face it, when was the last time you came to my home, my house, where I hangout?

Sure you offer your money and time to the places where you have control: your ministries that you call ‘outreach.’ The clean places as I like to call them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take your charity, it’s not like I have a choice. I feel those looks of pity that sometimes hide judgement. I may not have your words, your money, but I know you see me a certain way. You make me fit into your world without asking me if this is what I want. And I’m sure as hell not going to apologise to you.

You don’t want to know me, though you say you do …

Going from this ministry to that one, this food bank to that one, from this agency to that one takes most of my time. I’m good at what I do and if I could get above water, trust me this is not what I would like to be good at. But these are the cards I’ve been dealt. I’m not going to tell you a whole story of woe, about choices and pasts, because it’s none of your business. And I – truth be told – don’t think you really care. Some of you – well as individuals might – may want to know, but as a church, you’d rather not.

I can see your eyes, your back’s all tense now, you’re offended … well too bad. I walk into one of those places you pay for to keep all of us you say are on the ‘margins:’ we’re corralled and penned in. But you know what happens when I walk into one of your churches on a pretty Sunday out beyond the inner city – you know, my home – and wham! There’s the looks, the whispers. The “give her a gift card and some bus tickets’ and we’ll have done something good … but you sure as hell won’t look into the mirror. Do you want to know what I see in your faces when I walk in? With my mismatched clothes, maybe I’ve not had time to do my nails or clean to your standard, you’re scared, you’re – what’s the word – indignant?

Gandhi in Winnipeg

Gandhi in Winnipeg
Photo: MaryLou Driedger 2011

Another one of your words – well I can’t eat that, now can I?

You don’t want to know me, though you say you do …

What’s that guy’s name – you know the Indian who got to break away from the English without hurting other people? I’m sure you know who I mean … I once heard someone say he told some Christians that he liked Jesus, but his followers were jerks. Well those are my words and … well that’s been my experience.

Maybe I sound angry – again don’t care. Maybe you pity me – well again you know what you can do with that. Jesus – from what I’ve heard – seemed pretty pissed at his own people too. In fact, the times I’ve heard anything I like about church was when it was clear that he was turning tables and calling what he saw – I’d say ‘bullshit’ – but that might offend you …

Well, that’s what I got. I’ve been walking in circles trying to figure out how to say what I had to get out and this is what I got. I’m not slamming the door in your face though, especially if you come to my house – my apartment that I can afford right now. But if you do come over, it’d be great if I knew it wasn’t to make you feel better or that you want to make me into you. It’d be pretty cool if you showed up and wanted to listen … maybe even help. But – if you haven’t heard me yet – I don’t need you to fix my stuff, I need you to see me. Then maybe we can talk …

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