Life Lessons from a Gutter Punk

Jeremy and Whiskers

Jeremy is a jolly man.  His well-upholstered and tattooed physique seems to hold reserves of joy.  Things rarely get him down.  If offended, he quickly takes responsibility for his part in the interaction.  If things don’t go his way, he sees how the new plan might be the best one after all.  He seems to concoct interpretations that leave him happy in any given situation.
Jeremy is not delusional.  He lives in a very real world at a place called the Catholic Worker.  Beside housing a daily soup line open to all, the Worker is a home to about thirty people, a mixture of ideal-driven volunteers like Jeremy and “the least among us”—people like Whiskers, a rotund, lisping, respiratory-disease ridden seventy-something-year-old man who has lived there for forty years.  The Worker strives to be the ideal of a Christian “house of hospitality,” which means that everyone is welcome and nothing is asked of those who come through its doors.
Like many others who live there and pass through the Worker’s, Jeremy is neither Catholic nor Christian.  He’s a self-described anarchist, similar to the house, whose ethos is broadly defined as Christian anarchism, which focuses on following Jesus’ teachings without the conversion stuff. Continue reading “Life Lessons from a Gutter Punk”