Ann Voskamp: We Must Trade Charity for Solidarity
If you only knew what fire every person is facing, there isn’t one fire you wouldn’t help fight with the heat of a greater love. The day the homeless man moved into our loft, a heat wave broke over us.
Gordon literally had nothing the day he showed up, nothing to his name but the sun-faded T-shirt sticking to his back, emblazoned with the words, “Normal people scare me.” A mingling of alcohol and tobacco seeps from his burning pores. My brother and a buddy, they’d found him wandering down an empty back road after a court date, the tongues of his boots panting open, longing for relief. Now he stands in the shade at our back door, asking for water.
“You got anything to drink?” he asks me.
My brother wonders if we have some work for Gordon. Wondered if we may have a place for him, and maybe—just to start—a glass of water?
Gordon uses the tattered edge of his T-shirt to mop this mask of sweat puddling in the etched lines of his face. A silver ...1