Critique of Practical Religion - Division I - Chapter 5

Chapter 5



The driver's door opens with a confident, firm stroke, as the transitional clients know all-too-well who occupies it, and the owner of the Black Chevy Silverado. They begin to embrace the arrival of someone who is known for reading Psalms and Proverbs of the Holy Bible, while monitoring and protecting them while they sleep during the night, as it's another gentleman who is reaching the pinnacle of his own becoming. He steps out of the pick-up truck, and with a firm, hard planting first step, the movement of the shelter's foundation (as well as Matt's) can be a heart-pumping earthquake felt by most.


Vinny is a quiet, stocky young gentleman who is Mexican-American standing at 5 feet 9 inches tall with an utter assurance the purpose of his convictions that can be conveyed through the investigations of his natural disposition, and temperament. He is the grounded-anchor for the night shift, as he finds his self-purpose of helping the less fortunate (as all employees do), with a timeless ending shift in his unspoken empathy of this social club. He is a genuine man-of-faith that can be counted on for his patient, calm demeanor, as it is a well-balanced character of a planted virtue that comes with a natural origin (it requires no development), but he works behind-the-scenes to ensure that the well-oiled machine of the transitional shelter runs accordingly to what is planned without any hitches.


“Is everything all right here Matt?" He asks in concern as he notices that both employees are out on the patio. “Do you need any help?


“Just stay here for a moment Vinny. We are waiting for something to develop.” He responds. “We might need your help quickly.”


“It sounds like a disaster-in-the-making. Are the clients acting okay?”


“Well there is a rumor going around that we are letting someone steal from them. They are furious at the moment.” Jessie replies with stern look on his face. “Someone fabricated the whole story.”


“It sounds like that all of need some direction. Palms 71 might be needed.” Vinny whispers into the crowd. “Lord help us.”


The ever-growing patience of the transitional community have them all-on-the-edge, with the basking of the new moon's light on their sheltered minds and hearts, that are concerned for their best interests, as the transitional shelter is a community of hope and faith, that whole-heartedly believes, a better outcome comes with an everyday passing. Button this night, things are in a stalemate of progression, in their socially-inclined environment, and they're impatiently waiting for the news of the cleverly-designed immoral behavior.


“I'm having a difficult time serving tonight. My nerves are on edge. The transitional clients are acting up tonight for no reason.” Belinda states. “What could we have done in order for them to act up in a foul manner?”


“I don't know, but I will find out. I'm sure the transitional clients have a good reason.” with a reassurance from James. “Give me some time. I will get some feedback.”


“Well, we came here to help them. But, tonight it seems that we need the help. I'm struggling with the tragic news.” Gracie intervenes. “I don't think I can do this anymore.”


“I'm worried dear. I'm in a bad place right now. I'm not a violent person, but I feel like I could hurt the person and his family who killed our beloved leader.” Sarah angrily states. “I'm on-the-edge.”


“We should have a little faith right now. In my faith, a thought is generated in the mind.” Muhammad reiterates. “I struggle with my faith everyday when things are not going well in life. Do you see all of the tragedies around the world on television?”


And, the impatient line for the weekly reverence begins to take its toll, where the transitional clients are becoming antsy from the violent rumbling, and growling of their stomachs, but they're used to the life-long, developed patience it takes to be fed.


“Man, this line is unreal. I'm beginning to have anxiety.” Alex quietly mentions to his friend, “I'll see you tomorrow.”


“Where are you going? What about dinner?” Jaime asks. “If you leave, then I don't want to hear about how hungry you are in the morning. It's your fault. Am I too much for you? He laughs.




Alex patiently waits at the corner for the light to change to the white-handed-light with a sense of urgency in his walk. It changes. And, he disappears into the up-and-coming night.


Meanwhile, Matt, Jessie, and Vinny wait patiently in the patio with an ever-concerned, gazing look into the surroundings of the transitional shelter. They begin to enforce the particulars of the transitional shelter, as well as the city's ordinances that are available on the side wall of the transitional patio, in order to make it known about the particulars of Austinites. And, the socializing with the transitional clients, is crucial to the success of the shelter, as knowing the particulars of them, best serves the needs and desires of the transitional clients.


But, the exhaustion of standing and moving around constantly throughout their daily rituals, can exhaust a person, enough where they completely ignore the request of anyone. It is a fight to maintain the energy it takes to live in a transitional shelter. Some are not as fortunate as others whether the lack of proper documentation or other particulars takes its course, and others desire to venture out into the night trying to take- in-the-scene of the music venues and bars. Yet, all live in the same conditions as others. Their undying belief in that things will change-for-the-better comes with a price. It's not the soul that is question, but their spiritual belief.


“Hey, there is no sitting on the steps here. Do you mind getting up from it? It's just the rules.” Matt firmly requests to a client. “I hate to do it to you.”


“Aww, man. I was just sitting here trying to get some rest. No harm was being done.” A sweet laugh comes over in the transitional client. “Can I sit here a bit?”


“I just can't. I wish things were different. But, it's the rules for all of us.” Matt affirms with a caring monotone. “And, if the authorities ask you to leave. Then it's your fault. If it was up to me, then I would let everyone sit here. But, I do not the write law.”


“Hey, buddy. You can't sit there. I know you need your rest.” a patient attitude in Jessie reflects to a transitional client. “I know it's unfair. But, it's the law.”


“Yes, sure. I'm just tired.” He responds.


“Bless all who have come tonight. May your word be the saving grace.” Underneath his breath Vinny whispers. “May they find the light.”


But, in an instance, a clean-cut average-looking young teenage boy crosses the street to the transitional shelter, humming a gentle song, while walking throughout the transitional shelter. He waves as he passes everyone and looks so innocent that is arises a concern of all, as protecting the young children is a firm belief that everyone posses at the transitional shelter where it's a strong, ever-living conviction, to protect and look out for them. Night is slowly up-and-coming and there is a growing concern for him.


The concern of the young man reaches all the transitional groups, and they begin to all observe his dealings in the transitional shelter. It especially concerns Black and his friends. They begin to monitor his movements. He stops all of sudden in front of a transitional client with a shabby reputation without genuine concern for his safety and well-being. He pulls something out of his pocket.


“Excuse me sir. Would you like to buy my candle for a dollar? He gently asks. “I have only one left.”


“Sure, kid.” He responds and pulls out the money from his pocket. “I'll keep it for a special time.”


“Thank you.” the young man replies. “Bless you.”


All-of-a-sudden, a strong wind roars throughout the transitional shelter enough where it blows the caps and hats of the transitional clients, as they struggle to-keep-firmly-planted on the sidewalk. The strong whiz of the strong, gusting wind immediately energizes the transitional social club where conjured incantations of blessings for all immediately begin to ring-out-loud.


“Bless all who have come.” One blares.


“Thank God and bless the angels.” Another pitches his hoarse voice.


“Hey, Black. Should we follow that young child?” One of his friends asks.


“Yes. Go after him and make sure he gets to the Sally.” With a genuine concern Black commands. “Hurry up, he just entered the alley.”


The transitional angel rapidly walks to the beginning of the alley where the American volunteers have gathered to rest before the next serving. And, the concerned transitional client asks the volunteers a soon-to-be a puzzling occurrence.


“Have any of you seen a young teenage boy pass all of you?” He inquisitively asks the resting group.


“No.” They all reply.


Then he walks into the dividing alley where another group of transitional clients are waiting for the lottery, as well as transitional clients who are walking up the alley to the weekly, serving grace.


“Have any of you seen a young kid pass you?” He nervously requests. “He came this way.”


“No, I did not.” the transitional client responds. “Are you tripping fool? And, if so, get off the alcohol and drugs.” He laughs out loud.


The sudden, strong gust of the cool, spring air breeze coming up from the alley reaches the group, and begins to conjured up an interesting conversation. It brings needed comforting to the American volunteers, as well as sparking an understanding of their tragic events. They gather in a circle.


“What is faith anyway?” A wondering Hope reveals her puzzling trial of the questioning of it. “Where does it begin?”


“Good question Hope.” A reaffirming tone from Benjamin echoes. “Let us explore the mystery of faith.”


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