Tag Archives: homelessness

Father’s Day

Family/Parenting • Page 9 of 54 • EBONY

Image courtesy of Ebony Magazine
https://www.ebony.com/life/family_parenting/page/9/

The client was in his late 20s, his face impassive, revealing nothing.  He came to the legal clinic prepared, bringing along rent receipts carefully retained.

He told a story we had heard many times before: a layoff, promises to a landlord and partial payment of rent, then eviction.  In this case, the poignant detail was added of his returning home from the job search to find his sons on the porch with their mother, the door to their apartment padlocked.

We discussed his limited options.  It was only at the end of our session with him that the topic of fatherhood came up.  We were deeply impressed by his faithfulness, his efforts to protect his family against the hardships of poverty.  When we told him so, the dam burst.

He spoke with passion of having been abandoned as a young boy by his own father, of leaving home by his early teens, and fathering his first son within two years.  He spoke of feeling a failure, of the temptation to leave, walk away as his father had.

We did what little we could.  He needed a job and a roof over his head more than he did a lawyer.

But he stands to this day as an example for me of what fatherhood should be.  It is the reason I am reminded of him on Father’s Day.  His sons – the evidence of his existence, the personification of his desire to do better than his father – I am certain were blessed by his presence and his character.

I know I was.

So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him” (Gen. 35: 29).

Originally posted 6/15/14

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Christianity, Justice, Law, Religion

Gratitude

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Author Jon Harder, (Gnu Free Distribution License, and CC-BY 2.5 Unported)

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Author Jon Harder, (GNU Free Documentation License, and CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

“ ‘Thank you’ more complex than at first viewed when examined thoroughly through the lens of the human experience.”

– Marie Williams, https://mariewilliams53.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/guest-blog-post-thank-you-in-marie-williams-exact-words/

That statement about the phrase “thank you” has great significance.

Those of us deprived by childhood abuse of the basic necessities of love and nurture may well be deadened, emotionally.  The human connection that the words “thank you” signify may actually feel threatening to us.  Sadly, that connection has been foreign to us, outside our experience.

At a minimum, we are likely to doubt we have anything of worth to offer the world…anything to prompt thanks from others.

But deprivation heightens the capacity for gratitude.  Skip a single meal.  Sleep a single night on a park bench or huddle against the cold, under a makeshift cardboard shelter.  Then go home again to a full plate and a warm bed, a solid roof over your head.  See whether your perspective has not changed.

The smallest kindness is magnified a thousand times over for abuse victims.  A word or gesture of concern feels like rain on the desert to us.  A thoughtful act can sometimes save a life.

As victims (who, incidentally, make up a large percentage of the homeless), we may not be able to express our thanks, not adequately.  But we will treasure that simple phrase or gesture as if it were precious gold.

To us, it is.  The words “thank you” acknowledge that we have been seen, that we exist.  They imply, above all, that we are human and worthy of acknowledgment.  That is healing balm to our wounds, even if we cannot vocalize a response.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (1 Chron. 16: 34).

Wishing you all a Happy Turkey Day!

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

 

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Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Community, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

Juvenile Justice

According to Mark Twain, “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics.” To most of us, statistics are drier than dust. But numbers can be revealing.

• Earlier this year, the Coalition for the Homeless reported a record-high number of 53,000 homeless regularly spending the night in New York City shelters [1]. Nearly half are children. In March, conditions at two city shelters were found to be so horrific that 400 of these homeless children had to be removed for health and safety reasons.

• Using the “zero tolerance” policy toward school violence as a basis, then popular Pennsylvania judge, Mark Ciavarella, sentenced over 2000 high school students – some without benefit of counsel – to incarceration for offenses as insignificant as swearing at another student’s mother, and creating a false MySpace page. Once in the criminal system, some remained imprisoned for years. At least one committed suicide [2] [2A]. Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Justice, Law, Politics, Poverty