A thin, fragile-looking women lay on each one. A volunteer sat next to one bed, holding a nebulizer to a woman’s nose and mouth, helping her to breathe. Another volunteer massaged the hands and arms of a woman who lay completely still. Another combed the tangled hair of a frail and tiny lady.
We rode the train past mountains of garbage, the waste of millions that for the “least of these” is home. We visited Sonagachi, the Red Light District of Kolkata, where over 10,000 women live as prostitutes
Then a toothless, crazy lady who sits on the front row and is usually on some other planet suddenly raised her hand and yelled over the din of voices. “Are we talking about turkeys? I can bring a turkey?!”—And I lost it! Everything was out of my control—the Thanksgiving Dinner AND my emotions.
He resists my scoldings when he requests sugary sweet masala chai and tells me that “He’ll eat whatever the hell he wants to. He’s a grown man, and “ain’t nobody gonna tell him what he can and can’t eat.”
the next piece of information that got back to me on the community grapevine was: THEY ALL TOOK TURNS SLEEPING WITH HER THAT NIGHT!!!
Little Mary was a prostitute—not the street-walker type—well maybe sometimes, but not the leopard skin, mini-skirt and high heels type. For Mary, sex was a currency, as is the case for so many women living in poverty.
While I hear Churchians talking about how “the poor are poor because they make poor choices,” I daily watch single mothers working at the drudgery of minimum wage jobs that just cannot pay the bills, and daily facing the temptation to dance (and more) in the strip clubs on our street
In my mind, I started yelling at God, “You can’t send me people like this, and then not give me some way to help them! What do I do?!”
I looked up from wiping the counter to see a man standing on the front sidewalk, arms outstretched with a thermos jug gripped tightly in his hands. He was shaking from head to toe. Several of us ran to the front door to meet him. He just stood there mumbling incoherently and trembling, holding out his thermos. It was empty.