Faces of the Recession/Depression

The call this afternoon was convoluted.  She needed a ride back to her family, a few blocks away, and the strong Santa Ana winds made it difficult for her to walk the distance back.  Her husband and 4-year old son were sitting behind a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, across the street from the Motel 6 where they had been staying, until they ran out of money.

I’d talked with the family on several other occasions.  The first was months ago, when they were in a nice house with a nice truck out front, a boat and motorcycle, a garage full of things.  That was a lifetime ago.  The house is gone.  So is the boat and the motorcycle and whatever else couldn’t fit into the back of their pickup.  Until today, for the last three weeks, even the pickup and their belongings in the bed were gone.  Their belongings consisted of a couple of pillows, a few small suitcases and overnight bags, and a child car-seat.  All piled at the rear of a Jack-in-the-Box as we pulled up, the 4-year old bounding over joyfully to greet me.
If she hadn’t called, their plan was to spend the night right there, nestled up in a nook at the back of the Jack-in-the-Box, probably 100 feet from the 101Freeway.  With a 4-year old.  Extended family couldn’t – or wouldn’t – help.  Options were lacking.  Time and resources had run out.  They had no transportation, no money, no belongings, nothing left.
What do you do in the face of such overwhelming loss and need?  Whatever you can.  With whatever you have.  You pray.  And you thank God and apologize for the embarrassment of riches that you so easily take for granted.  
I’ve always wondered what it must have been like to live through the Great Depression.  I suspect strongly that I’m going to have a chance to find out.  The pain of experiencing history instead of studying it is written on faces like that family today.  

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