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As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

There is a baby bird under a bridge who is not supposed to be there tonight.

There’s only one way for me to explain what I mean and it’s through a parable that I do so.

Imagine, if you will, an open field of grass.  It’s not a freshly mowed field.  The grass has some height to it.  As you look over this field, you notice a cluster of forty to sixty dots making their way through the grass from one direction to the other.  You realize they are a flock of birds that are making their way on foot across the field in search of worms, seeds, berries, and water: any food to get them through the day.

With systematic precision and a sense of community that seems impossible for a flock of birds, you watch in amazement as they make their way across the field.

Although you’ve heard stories of the great cat that loves to pounce on these birds, this time it catches you by surprise as it suddenly lands in the middle of this flock of birds and scatters them in flight instantaneously.  None are captured by the cat but one is terrified by what this disruption may cause to her plans on this day. 

You see, this one baby bird got herself in some trouble with the cat family a few days ago.  She’s tired of getting in trouble and wants help to stop doing what she’s doing that is constantly causing problems in her life.  She has a meeting with one of the cats, her parole officer, later today.  There’s a Momma Bird, of sorts, who just entered her life and told her that she’d be her guide and fight for her as she does what she needs to do to make a better life.

This big cat landing in the middle of this baby bird’s day has just confused all of her fragile plans.  She was to meet Momma Bird at a specific time and place but instead, she flies to safety from the unexpected cat.  She spends hours trying to find Momma Bird and Momma Bird spends hours trying to find her.  When they do find each other, it’s far too late to go through with any aspect of her plan.

There is a baby bird under a bridge who is not supposed to be there tonight. 


The baby bird is a 25+- year old petite woman who I’ll call Cassandra.  She was just released from jail at 2:00 am earlier this same day and is beyond sick of her homeless and addicted life that brings with it income requirements that go beyond the scope of this humble blog.[1]  She’s sick of doing what she does and reached out to me during yesterday’s visit with her dream of wanting something better.  I referred her to a woman who is actually a distant relative of mine and was with me this day, twenty-four hours prior to this writing.  The two of us have recently started ministering together.  Cassandra and Anna developed a plan that was to be carried out earlier today, a plan that would have made detox and rehab a very distinct possiblity.

The cat is the city of Philadelphia who routinely jumps into this community of human beings who live under the Emerald Street Bridge and causes them to scatter.  Philadelphia does so with the belief that if it does so enough, the birds (people) will no longer cluster in this field (under this bridge) and will simply vanish. 

The temporary scattering of the birds may have worked for a few moments but within short order, they are back under the relative safety of the bridge.  This particular baby bird, in the absence of being able to fulfill her plans, is now at risk of being in violation of her parole requirements and in jeopardy of further jail time.

There is a baby bird under a bridge who is not supposed to be there tonight. 

Now let’s walk backward through this situation to see the absurdity of the cat jumping into this community.

Since the cat pounced on her community earlier today, Cassandra is now facing additional jail time for violating her probation requirements for committing a crime that she never wanted to commit to support avoidance of dope sickness and addiction that she never wanted to have and is trapped in because she can’t get the help from the city that has now pounced on her for being addicted and living under the bridge.   I could keep typing and show you the incredible absurdity that makes up this issue that manages to circle back on itself in its unnecessary complexity.

There is a baby bird under a bridge who is not supposed to be there tonight.  

[1] May the reader understand…

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