I recently got a telephone call from an 85+ year old Lady whom I had served as a Chaplain a few years back at a hospital and nursing home. At that time, she was close to culminating her life.
She is better now. She lives at home with her disabled son.
She is too frail, and he too disabled to keep up their property. The City has threatened to take it away unless something is done about her lawn and hedges. Neither has been cut or trimmed for eight years. I packed up my Black and Decker Hedge Hog Hedge Trimmer, Briggs and Stratton engine lawn mower, gasoline, extension cord, motor oil, and three pronged plug adapter in my auto trunk.
I spent the day cutting the lawn, weeding, trimming hedges, and carrying the debris out to the curb for trash collection pick up in bags made from recycled paper.
One of her neighbors knows who I am. I used to be the Senior Rabbi at her Congregation. She asked me why at my age I am wasting my time doing manual labor yard work? My response is that there are many ways to be of service to those in need. The trick isn't even to find them. It is to say yes to them when they find you.
I am working with a local Foundation to arrange for external home up keep funding so this elderly Lady and her disabled son do not have their home taken away from them by City bureaucrats. Until that process plays out, I will continue to tend to the home externally. She has a case worker who has people take care of the inside.
Tomorrow I go back with some students on summer vacation looking for paying work to scrape, sand, prime and paint the home exterior together. I will drive them, pay them, feed them, equip them, and work with them.
It is not enough to be able to quote Scripture in its original languages to establish a case for being the keeper of all in the family of humanity. I can, and continue to do that. There is also a practical side to life.
There is a time for theory, and a time for action. Until the property is up to City codes, now is the time for action.
Anyone can talk a good game. That is necessary, but not sufficient to do what is needed here. Just call me two coats Enoch.
Peace and Blessings.