“How could that moron over there really be God?”
— Shams-u-din Muhammad Hafiz (1320-1389)
I like him right away. Deepak is waiting for us, leaning against the back of his SUV, dressed in sweat pants and shirt with a long scarf knotted around his neck, legs crossed at the ankle like the Hindu god of love.
“Namaste. Finally we meet,” he greets me with warmth as my husband introduces us.
“There are no social taboos. I am not in Delhi. You are not in Kuala Lumpur. We are here,“ said Deepak, a former colleague of my husband from a financial services firm.
As America’s economic crisis escalates, men and women are laid off, banks foreclose on homes, and I am privileged to meet the talent America is throwing out on her streets. These are the pilgrims and strangers on Earth regardless of their faith profession who are seeking a heavenly country. Of whom it is said in the Bible (Hebrews, 11:13-15) that they did not desire to return to their country origin or God would have made a way.
Outside the Holy Ghost Church in Denver, the sandwich line is long. The man at the head of the line calls out, “Hey guys, don’t take two bananas, just one. If you take two, there won’t be any left for the others.” In my tan Banana Republic jacket, sky-blue Ann Taylor sweater and Charlotte Russe $15 jeans, all made in China and India, I look like I could be interviewing for a journalism job, but I am going to sit before the blessed sacrament inside the church and sob: “Jesus, multiply those bananas and sandwiches so America can have her fill of food. The people are hungry, homeless and jobless.” Fortunately, the Jesus I know who cursed the fig tree and called religious hypocrites vipers will not be correcting me for religious semantics or political correctness. He will be listening.
Jesus will understand when I tell him that the American dream is broken, not just for me but for many Americans. He will understand when I tell Him that Pat Robertson’s New York Times bestseller "Kingdom Principles," as well as all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, cannot put America back together again. Jesus will understand when I ask Him for divine intervention. He will be listening. And He will not be asking me for a donation as I leave.
For four months I myself was homeless, and experienced as well the hunger, existential pain, shame, indignity and anguish. It was one thing to blog for Mean Street Ministry and volunteer for the Colorado homeless and working poor, quite another to be a client. One in six American homes is in foreclosure, and one in seven homes is vacant. When we call my mother-in-law in Malaysia, we do not tell her the depth of our suffering. Like Deepak, she is Hindu and believes in a God of justice and love. We are here. She is there. Only God is everywhere.
The men in the sandwich line are standing in for me. They are my friends. I will not listen when religious and political hypocrites say they are like the Israelites complaining to Moses. Instead, I will be sitting before the blessed sacrament begging for God’s divine mercy on us all. Then having entrusted God with all these prayer intentions, I will return to my apartment singing my new song, "Jesus is the roof over my head and the rock under my feet."
Anushka Anastasia Solomon, author of "The Buying, Babe, is Good Only In America," is looking for someone to purchase her song lyrics and help raise funds for the homeless. She can be contacted at Solomon_rex@hotmail.com.