His name is Michael. (Not really…confidentiality.) He’s in his mid-twenties, lives on disability income and food stamps. He’s schizophrenic. His illness, for now, is controlled by medication. He’s often unkempt. His clothing is torn, tattered, most times by choice, I think. Walking or public transportation are his choices for travel. He doesn’t look “normal.”
He attends church unless it’s too hot or too cold. He’s extremely intelligent; journals, writes poetry. He thinks about God a lot and works at sitting silent and listening to God’s voice. One problem, he’s said, is that he can’t always tell if it’s really God speaking to him or the voices of his illness.
We’ve noticed Michael getting thinner, almost emaciated. We finally asked him if he was eating enough. He replied that he was…except for the last weeks of the month…when his food stamps ran out. We raided the church pantry and sent home some groceries with him. Wanting to help him help himself, I asked if he was familiar with Hillsboro Food Banks. He was. He hesitated. “Is there a problem getting a box home?” I asked. “Can we arrange someone to drive you?” He was still hesitant. “Do you not like the food they have?” “No”, he said. “That’s not it. I have so much. I don’t like to take the food away from a family who needs it more than I do.”
Contributed by Bernie Bosnjak, pastor at Hillsboro Friends Church