The more I stay here the more I realize that I am tired, I am selfish, I am resentful. I am being changed–yes–by entering the lives of people in poverty and seeing the grace of being invited into their lives. Yes, I am learning from them a simple faith and a simple life. But it is difficult, and it’s a place I do not know how to inhabit.
We’re all holding hands on the street. Bear on my left, a stocky, grizzled Filipino dude wearing a hard expression under squinting eyes. Pancho on my right, a wiry black man with a thin face and a black “OAKLAND” beanie with big, gothic lettering. Cece is between the men, finishing a prayer: “And keep us alllll”–she draws out the word in her Native-American accent–“safe from the Devil!”