Warning: the post you are about to read is not written by Susan Pauling but by her slightly older and funnier sister Catherine Brison. That’s right, we both think we are funny and are constantly at war as to who is the funniest. Susan wants me to write on her blog and has suggested that I call my stories “Posts from the Trailer Park”. This sounds very funny to Susan but it cuts deeply into my pride. Please understand, my family has recently undergone some very intense changes. They have included multiple job changes, the sale of our home and relocation into a mobile home park. Not so very funny really.
I chose this location because I have a 6 year old son, Joshua, and he has had to say quite a few emotional goodbyes as of late. We could have parked our trailer at a RV campground but it would have involved making new friends and constantly saying goodbye to them (again, not funny). I thought that my family needed community. I believe that I was right to make this choice and it is working out fine but both my husband and I are dealing with an unexpected shame about telling people where we live. This has surprised us both. Joshua (being a social butterfly) keeps making friends while we are out. He will run up to us and ask if he can tell his new friend where we live and ask if they can come over? Keith and I just cannot bring ourselves to say where we really live…. and we know we are wrong.
My preconceived notions about this park have been so wrong. I expected tattooed, pierced, drug taking, idiot hoodlums. What I got were people. Real People. They have greeted me with open arms and have become the immediate community I very much needed. They have more than exceeded my expectations. But many of these people have been through rough times and they tend to throw all their “junk” out right upon meeting them. I have been greeted by such statements as, “I used to be homeless, things get better.” And “I have been clean for years now my son still uses but my husband and I are doing good.” “I buried my child a few years ago” and “I have custody of my daughters children, their fathers are all in jail” (most surely not humorous). What do you do with this much pain? They don’t have time or use for pretense. They throw their life stories out before me, a total stranger, and they seem to dare me not to run. So far, I have not. They have, in fact, been very kind to me. Their honesty has come with an openness and acceptance that I have found a great comfort in this time of transition.
God works in mysterious ways. Every day I pray that I can be His hands, feet, arms and ears to these people and for God to use me while He is working on my pride. Maybe one day I will look back on all of this and laugh-
today is not that day, but until then…
Matthew 25:40- If you have done it (or not) to the very least of my brethren you have done it (or not) to me.