[Hpn] Cruelty and Grace

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sun, 17 Feb 2008 21:40:05 -0500


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http://geezersisters.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/cruelty-and-grace/
Cruelty and Grace
February 17, 2008 by ruthpennebaker=20

When I walk with my friends on the Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail, I =
rarely notice the distance we cover.  That's because we're talking so =
much, enjoying ourselves.

Today wasn't any different, but the conversation was more introspective =
and painful.  My friend and I spoke about a rash of separations and =
divorces we knew about, about a friend's recent diagnosis with cancer, =
about another woman - a friend of my friend - who had been in a car =
wreck over the weekend.  That wreck killed three teenagers and left two =
others in critical condition.

All this sadness, illness and death on a beautiful day when the sun =
shone and the sky was a deep blue and people jogged and walked and =
pushed strollers and walked their dogs.  The universe is indifferent and =
life goes on.  What other lesson can you draw from this?  I don't know.

But later, as my husband and I came back from our usual brunch outing, =
we waited at a light on the 183 access road.  A homeless man with a sign =
asking for money approached our car, then turned around.  A woman in =
another, nearby car was waving and calling out to him.  He approached =
her car and I wondered what I was about to see.  Could it possibly be a =
cruel joke - with the car pulling away at the last minute?  It seemed =
like that kind of day; it would have been terrible, but it wouldn't have =
surprised me.  Today had already reminded me of the random cruelty of =
life.

But I watched, as we sat there.  Another man opened the trunk of the car =
the woman was in and pulled something out.  He handed the homeless man =
something.  Then the woman reached out of the window and - as far as I =
could tell - handed the homeless man money.

The homeless man returned to his place close to our car.  He was holding =
a pair of shoes in his right hand.  He jumped up in the air, jubilantly, =
and I noticed, then, that his feet were bare.  His face was upturned to =
the sky and he crossed himself with his free hand.

The light turned green and we moved on.  But I keep seeing the homeless =
man in my mind's eye, with his exuberant jump and his sheer happiness.  =
And I would like to thank the man and woman in that car who did =
something for all of us today, who made this universe seem less =
indifferent and cruel, and more hopeful.  Bless you, both.













New Hampshire Homeless
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com

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<H2><A=20
href=3D"http://geezersisters.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/cruelty-and-grace/"=
>http://geezersisters.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/cruelty-and-grace/</A></H2=
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<H2><A title=3D"Permanent Link to Cruelty and&nbsp;Grace"=20
href=3D"http://geezersisters.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/cruelty-and-grace/"=
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rel=3Dbookmark><FONT color=3D#265e15>Cruelty =
and&nbsp;Grace</FONT></A></H2>
<P class=3Dpost-info>February 17, 2008 by <A title=3D"Posts by =
ruthpennebaker"=20
href=3D"http://geezersisters.wordpress.com/author/ruthpennebaker/"><FONT =

color=3D#265e15>ruthpennebaker</FONT></A> </P></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dentry>
<DIV class=3Dsnap_preview>
<P>When I walk with my friends on the Lady Bird Lake Hike &amp; Bike =
Trail, I=20
rarely notice the distance we cover.&nbsp; That=92s because we=92re =
talking so much,=20
enjoying ourselves.</P>
<P>Today wasn=92t any different, but the conversation was more =
introspective and=20
painful.&nbsp; My friend and I spoke about a rash of separations and =
divorces we=20
knew about, about a friend=92s recent diagnosis with cancer, about =
another woman =97=20
a friend of my friend =97 who had been in a car wreck over the =
weekend.&nbsp; That=20
wreck killed three teenagers and left two others in critical =
condition.</P>
<P>All this sadness, illness and death on a beautiful day when the sun =
shone and=20
the sky was a deep blue and people jogged and walked and pushed =
strollers and=20
walked their dogs.&nbsp; The universe is indifferent and life goes =
on.&nbsp;=20
What other lesson can you draw from this?&nbsp; I don=92t know.</P>
<P>But later, as my husband and I came back from our usual brunch =
outing, we=20
waited at a light on the 183 access road.&nbsp; A homeless man with a =
sign=20
asking for money approached our car, then turned around.&nbsp; A woman =
in=20
another, nearby car was waving and calling out to him.&nbsp; He =
approached her=20
car and I wondered what I was about to see.&nbsp; Could it possibly be a =
cruel=20
joke =97 with the car pulling away at the last minute?&nbsp; It seemed =
like that=20
kind of day; it would have been terrible, but it wouldn=92t have =
surprised=20
me.&nbsp; Today had already reminded me of the random cruelty of =
life.</P>
<P>But I watched, as we sat there.&nbsp; Another man opened the trunk of =
the car=20
the woman was in and pulled something out.&nbsp; He handed the homeless =
man=20
something.&nbsp; Then the woman reached out of the window and =97 as far =
as I=20
could tell =97 handed the homeless man money.</P>
<P>The homeless man returned to his place close to our car.&nbsp; He was =
holding=20
a pair of shoes in his right hand.&nbsp; He jumped up in the air, =
jubilantly,=20
and I noticed, then, that his feet were bare.&nbsp; His face was =
upturned to the=20
sky and he crossed himself with his free hand.</P>
<P>The light turned green and we moved on.&nbsp; But I keep seeing the =
homeless=20
man in my mind=92s eye, with his exuberant jump and his sheer =
happiness.&nbsp; And=20
I would like to thank the man and woman in that car who did something =
for all of=20
us today, who made this universe seem less indifferent and cruel, and =
more=20
hopeful.&nbsp; Bless you, both.</P></DIV></DIV></DIV>
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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><BR>New Hampshire Homeless<BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite=20
Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA<BR>Advocates,activists for=20
disabled,displaced human rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></DIV></FONT></BODY></HTML>

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