Richard resides in Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada. He obtained a BA. Honors in English and a B. Ed. He taught high school for thirty years. He has published poems, short stories and a novel, "Hooked on Fish Tales".
Raw experience teaches us effectively about our brutal reality. We are the sole interpreters of our own life’s meaning. And, mine only makes sense when it is based on belief in our loving Almighty! Whatever leads us away from Him, we must get rid of it, or remain spiritually removed. Jesus challenged His disciples too, “Where do you stand?”
So then, those, who choose to disbelieve, are the walking dead! As a result, you atheists and agnostics will never enter Heaven but Hell is waiting for you with its wide door agape unless you repent and make a firm commitment to Christ! Or perhaps, you believe that the concept of the Holy Trinity is simply a cleverly fabricated lie like I once did! A sly politic used by ruse leaders to manipulate us, the innocent and the ignorant!
Friend, ... come ... come closer into my former world, if you dare! ... See how the fluffy snowflakes fall steadily, ... stealthily upon our vulnerable market square? Spiteful unexpected storm gusts deepen drifts, impair visibility, mask increasing cold, intimidate the spoiled rich shoppers, forcing them to take refuge in their luxurious homes.
Ah! ... But do you not also see society’s outcasts suffering from such threatening squalls shrouding them into alleys’ icy tombs? Death’s twins, pneumonia and influenza, flourish here, greedily gnawing away at vital organs, inflaming them, speedily spreading slimy mucus, weakening immune systems, culminating into wheezing lungs obliging the condemned to cough up infectious spittle that is spat upon sidewalks where we tread!
Wait! ... Let me show you a slice of life of these cursed city’s vagrants who are shamefully confined to dwell here, and where the hated Diable Gang Bangers feed off them daily, and where I found Jesus Christ’s Love! ... Do you accept? ... If so, read on!
Garbed with garbage-retrieved soiled woolen hoods pulled tightly down over frozen eyebrows, we lower our snared sinful heads to keep emaciated chests warm with meagre heat. Observe carefully how our frozen breaths puff up into the neon-lit night like frail pale spirits struggling futilely to survive, destined to dissipate into the white stormy sky leaving our cold stiff bodies with one less breath to take. In a little while this night, or the next, one of us will find rest in a soon-forgotten beggar’s grave!
Relentless starvation spurs us to rise in the morning, harsh hopelessness binds us to depend upon the guilt or compassion of affluent passers-by who might carelessly throw some loose change into our begging tin cups. As it was in the time of Christ, so is it is now, we are still labelled Street Beggars! ... But, judge not, for God loves the poor!
My harsh experience has taught me also that we homeless suffer worse during the Christmas Season from the lack of charity of fake Christians. Such deceived happy hypocrites flock here on Sunday mornings to grab up all the specials they can find instead of keeping the Sabbath holy by not attending church and by shunning us!
Bah! ... When I lived with my wealthy parents, I was like most of the selfish upper class youth Who didn’t care about these downtrodden?! ... Yet, my parents always did! ... Rather, I was nothing more than one of the many Media-Fabricated Androids in today’s society who had fallen victim to commercial idolatry, behaving consciously and unconsciously as a proud passionate materialistic exploiter lusting after more money and spending it lavishly upon myself! The God of Success meant power and pleasure!
Such sad stupid lost souls we were! ... Dishonoured the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! ... Oh I beg Dear God to have mercy on those who are not contrite of heart! When I’d acquired my impoverished state, I learned to surrender myself to Jesus and He empowered me! After taking responsibility, I committed my life to denouncing Satan!
And no! ... I’m not a religious fanatic! ... Simply a Christian! ... Hopefully now a practising one! ... Either we willingly choose to follow the Lord or we reject Him! ... You?
Concerning the vivid events that led to my conversion, I will forever hold dearly as a heavenly treasure that freed my soul from bondage, and that drew me closer to God! ... So then for your sake, I shall relive and recount my pinpricking memories!
“Hey Doug! ... Got enough money to fill up at Beaudry Hotdogs and Fries?”
“Barely Brian! Ya go on! ... I might get luckier down the street. See ya later!”
O-o-o-oh, let me tell you how that tormenting appetizing aroma increases our pangs of hunger something awful! ...Trust me, we gobble up his junk like there’s no tomorrow! .... Ah-h-h-h! Weird though! Frenchie appears to be a good guy! But let’s face it, he pretty well steals all our hard-earned change from us! The lousy vulture lives off our addiction to his food dipped in delicious saturated fat! ... Something wicket man!
Who-o-o-o-a! ... Feeling a bit faint! ... Only ate three square meals this week! ...hey! ... Get a gander at that blonde beauty coming our way! .... Whew-w-w--wee! ... Quite an exceptionally big bust flopping up and down under her fancy frock coat!
Uh? ... Disrespectful? ... Sexual lust? ... Listen, I’m a young man! ... Barely twenty-one! ... All right, I’m not a saint! ... Granted, Jesus would be too pleased with me right now!
... Huh? ... She pulls her silk scarf up over her nose as if I stink! ... Notice how condescendingly she tosses ten bucks into my guitar case! ... Relieves her conscience! ... Infuriates me!
I return a mechanical gesture of gratitude for her heartless gift, go to sing White Christmas for her, she walks off abruptly - stings my soul to the quick!
“Uh? ... Not that annoying inner voice again! ... What do you want now?”
“I know my sheep and they know me. Brian, you are one of mine! ... Why are you so distraught?”
“I’m going crazy! ... Maybe I’m schizoid!... That’s what!”
“Brian, you know anxiety is caused by a lack of faith and trust in Me as my disciples had also experienced in their ship during the great storm on the Sea of Galilee. Only I can answer all your needs. Doctor’s pills treat symptoms! I shall heal your soul!”
“Well excuse me if I disagree!”
“Disagree all you want to Brian! ... Relieving distress by temporal pleasures and indulging in sin will only augment your pain. Obey God’s Will and all will be well!”
“Don’t want to get into that stupid spiritual stuff now! ... Go away!”
“Brian ... look at my church. My Living Body! ... Part of our Father’s Kingdom on Earth. Hear the vesper bells? ... Reminders to the faithful that only two days remain before celebrating My Birth and for all to reconcile with God! ... You have not been there for a very long time!... Set your soul free from bad habits and live in peace!”
“Nope, don’t want to! ... Going to church is boring! Reserved for flaky believers!”
“Oh Son! ... My Church is where you can increase your faith through knowledge, feed your holy spirit through communion, walk in fellowship with Me, and learn how to apply My Word to all life’s situations! ... Brian, ... live for the Father - not for yourself!”
“Yeah sure! Ha, ha! ... That’s why folks are just busting down the door to get in!”
“Love Me Brian! ... Remark how the flickering candles light up the arched stained windows casting gentle hews of rainbow colours onto the pure white snow! ... Gorgeous isn’t it? ... Reminiscent of how people are like naughty pilgrims journeying through life wavering in their service to Me! ... Brian, I am the true Light and have come into the world neither to judge nor to condemn anyone but rather to save all who choose to believe in me. Those candles without flame are the spiritually dead, incapable of light!”
“I don’t want to hear any more of that foolishness! ... The church is corrupt too!”
“Wrongdoing is everywhere! ... Brian, when you were fifteen, you had taken some money from your father’s wallet on several occasions? ...Yet, you knew it was theft!”
“Why tell me that I am a thief now? ... Hasn’t my guilt punished me enough?”
“Lamb, I am Love and Forgiveness! God even uses sin to bring about good. But every transgression, every compromise, and every omission from God’s Ways weakens your faith! ... And time is of the essence! ... Many issues in your past must be put right within the next three days before you can move on to fulfill God’s Divine Plan for you!”
“Okay ... I get it! ... Beg for more money and pay my Dad back! ... Satisfied now?”
Blazes! ... my buddy Doug is studying me! ... He’s overheard me confessing! ... Probably thinks I’ve stolen money from him too! ... Ah-h-h-h! ... Deal with him later!”
“Shih! ... Brian, do you not hear the choir’s angelic voices singing Silent Night?”
“Yeah! ... Ironically though, my sad soul leaps for joy! ... Only for a few brief moments mind you!... Hellish sober reason is fighting to dampen my spirit as always!”
Cripes! ... Doug’s tireless stare is unnerving! Seems to say, “You’ve lost it Pal!”
“Brian! ... Wrong assumptions often lead to wrong conclusions and more sorrow!”
“Jesus, ... or whoever you are, ... you know absolutely nothing about me!”
“Not so Brian! When you were three you came to Christmas Mass at St Paul’s. You saw a figure of me hanging on the cross. Your Holy Spirit told you that I was Jesus!”
“What! ... No one else could have known that but me! ... Nuts! ...You’re a darn hallucination due to this bitter cold! ... Don’t drink alcohol! ... Don’t take drugs - never did! ... Can you really be Jesus talking to me? ... Whoa-a-a! ... Impossible in this real world!”
“Brian, why are you begging and separating yourself from the Father’s will?”
“Listen, if you’re really Christ as you claim you are, then you know very well that my old man only wanted me to become a bloody medical doctor like he is! ... And I didn’t want to be his carbon copy! ... I wanted to do what I wanted! ... Son of a gun! .. After I finished high school, I couldn’t stand his constant criticism! I believed he’d rejected the real me! ... Rejection!... Rejection! ... Rejection! ... Felt hurt, unworthy, ... got seething angry, ... sought revenge, ... emptied of all happiness, ... so, I gladly left home!
Gr-r-r-r-r-r! ... Everything turned out even worse! ... I was always thirsting to be perfect, failing to succeed, scared to try for fear of more bloody failure, criticizing myself, blaming others, couldn’t take a compliment, felt bad all the time thinking I’m no good! ... And, it’s all Dad’s fault! ... He always pointed out how much I was a loser! ...
Sure I had a few jobs here there, lost interest in them all, ... went to university for three years, had good grades too, ... yet my inner aching pain persisted! ... A future degree, wouldn’t fix the broken me, ... dropped out, ... before I knew it, this year has already rolled by too ! ... So here I am a street parasite too proud and embarrassed to go back home!
Afraid! ... Always afraid! ... Still don’t know what I want! ... Had a personal plan of my own! ... Failed miserably! ... I just want to be left alone from society’s superior snobs! ... And if you really knew me, ... you wouldn’t like me either! ... and neither would God!”
“No Brian! ... My Love and the Father’s is unconditional! ... Nevertheless, His Divine Plan must be followed - not yours or your dad’s! Your idle disobedience to Him is cheating you out of accomplishing and enjoying the reason for which you have been created! ... Satan is giving you fear, distorting your self-image, causing you misery!”
“Don’t change the subject! ... My Dad is a royal pain in the butt! ... And God is too! ... Rules, rules, and more rules! ... I ‘m going to do what I want and You and no one else is going to stop me!”... Leave-e-e ... me-e-e- ... alon-n-ne! .... I’m no good!”
“Precious Lamb, I love you, the Father loves you just the way you are! But you can never be happy unless your will is aligned with the Father’s! And, I reassure you I am talking to you through the Holy Spirit that is living within your soul!”
“Rubbish and you know it!”
“Yo-o-o-o ... D-o-u-g-g-g! ... What’s up?”
“Are ya okay Brian? Ya seem a littl’ outta of it! ...Say, I got-t-t-ta -go get warm at the shelter and eat some grub-b-b! ... Catch ya tamorrowa when y’ er feelin' a bit better!”
“You see that O’ Holy Spirit! ... My pal thinks I’m a lunatic too by talking with You!”
“Then Brian don’t talk out loud but with your heart.”
“When you pray, do you need to speak out loud?”
“Well no! ... Gave up praying!... A useless endeavour!... Only wishful thinking!”
“Brian, let what little faith you have in Me ... speak to Me - not your reason!”
God-d-d, as you call Him, didn’t answer my prayer when I needed Him the most!”
“I believe you are referring to your high school graduation when your father was working to the wee hours of the morning operating on chronically ill patients who needed heart transplants, and by-passes, whose very lives swayed in the balance. I know because I was there to bring some souls home to Abba! ... Forgive your dad for making God’s service a priority over you! Your dad performed his work out of sacrificial love! The greatest love that exists! ... And Brain, God answers prayers in His time, in His Way!
“Come on for frig’s sake! ... At school, teachers taught me that my mind and body belonged to me! .... How dare you say that God is loving and just when He stole my father away from me and my sister Kate with this so-called Divine Plan for my dad!?”
“Brian, many teachers and professionals have adopted this pagan attitude of darkness! You, and all those who believe in Me, are destined to accomplish the Father’s Will - not that of the world or the Evil One! Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!
“Well, I refuse to belief that! ... As for this “Sacrificial love business! ... what do you think Mom, Kate and I did? ... We all sacrificed our lives to please Dear old Dad so he could save everyone else for God! .... But don’t expect that same crap from me!”
“Easy Brian! ... Kate and your mother understood. Son, you chose selfishness!”
“What? ... You have the nerve to blame me?”
“Brian, I did not mean to hurt you! - only to reveal how My Love may heal you! ... ‘Love is patient, kind, doesn’t envy or boast, nor is it proud, not rude or self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of all wrongs, nor does it delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres! Love never fails’!” (Cor.1: 12-13)
“Yeah sure! ... Say all the platitudes you want! ... Dad did his duty by paying the bills, rarely slept at home, yet expected us to love him in spite of his absenteeism! He made me feel that I didn’t belong! ... And you know what else? ... Today’s social service bureau would call that parental abuse! ... Hear that Holy Spirit? ... A-bus-s-s-e! ... Get it!