Dangerous Compassions

mystical body

early morning sun in the olive tree

“Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto me,”┬áJesus said.

I was riding my trike through the Buy Low parking lot, and Ming was in front of me on his bike. A street person was in the parking lot coming toward us, with a shopping cart. I heard her say something to Ming, addressing him as Girl. I wondered why she was reading Ming as a woman. She was admiring.

“I love your color!” she said to me. I was wearing my purple dress. “I love you, Miss Jesus!” she said.

I thanked her, and we continued toward the Worker. We were riding there to do chairs for prayer. That means setting up the chairs in a big outdoor circle, putting the prayer books on the chairs, then putting everything away afterward.

I thought how the poor are Jesus, the Mystical Body of Christ. Every human is Jesus, in the sense of sacred and holy. When we feed anyone, we’re feeding God.

It’s an honor, which I definitely feel in my own body. Handing out bread, I’m doing something beautiful, and it’s not just bread, because those few seconds, being there with someone, being who I am, accepting them as they are, I’m giving love to them.

“What bread would you like today?” I ask. I might say, “I’ve got wheat and these white rolls, today. That’s it.”

Some say they’re good with anything; others are very specific. Some ask if I have any bagels. I check in the rest of my food grade bucket for bagels.

I make eye contact. Unless I feel super rushed because the line is huge, I say good morning. I say you’re welcome, accept their jokes, accept just about everything.

Definitely I see their sadness, their excitement, their clothes (dirty, torn, ill-fitting), their wounds. I smell them.

This was before covid. I’m remembering months back. The sun would come up, and I sang, sometimes. Pigeons flew around the dirt lot.

So yeah, I see the eaters as Jesus, and I love them. But it never occurred to me that they were seeing me as Jesus also!

“I’d never been Miss Jesus before,” I said to Ming later, which sounded like a complaint, as I said it. But she can see me however she wants.

I feel complicated and weird about Jesus, instead loving God as Mother and eternally confused about sacrifice, lambs, and blood washing anything clean.

But I think I get the main idea. What a sad kid I was, to think my theology would be superior to the street person’s theology. Oops. Sorry I disrespected you, unknown Friend. I’ll do better tomorrow.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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