Dear Sister, it's nice to see Mrs. Gott on your blog again. How is their friend who smelled so badly at the Catholic Charities store?
Funny you should ask. We were just inquiring about poor Bob ourselves not two days ago. I hadn't heard tell of him in some time, and I always hear about it when he's been around. Then there is the lingering...awareness... that he stopped by.
I am not happy about the news, but I have yet to form a plan.
Here's what's happened. Somebody snapped. No one will fess up to who it was exactly, but I suspect that everyone else was so grateful for the lapse of compassion that the other ladies have now formed a thin Mary-blue line of protective silence. Their lips are sealed. They've thrown away the key. At some point I will lay my 'nun gaze', famous for stopping fifth graders in their tracks, upon them. The ninety year old women of the Catholic Charity will once again be 1o years old and they will spill the beans.
Even at the Catholic Charity store people are expected to pay a little something for their clothes or the things they need. The story is that Bob stopped by twice without paying anything. He probably owed them a dollar. Maybe two dollars. So when he stopped by a third time empty handed, someone snapped. Whichever octogenarian snapped also showed him the door. Somewhere in there the horrible odor was mentioned to him. He protested that he had on clean clothes. He was informed that clean clothes don't help when you don't bathe. Ever.
This must have happened a while ago, because I managed to find out thatBob has since been banned from no less than two other stores run by other charitable groups. On one occasion the police were called.
What a dilemma! I'm very disturbed. I'm sure the money thing had to have been a ploy. I can't think why any money has to change hands. All the items are donated. I guess for the gas bill and rent. Still...I know how much a dollar can be when you only have one. Or none.
I can't pass judgment on the good ladies who work every day to help the poor and have been as kind as they could muster to poor Bob, all the while gagging and holding their breath. I can't pass judgment on poor Bob who clearly has a screw loose. The hygiene screw has been stripped altogether. And we certainly can't expect the other people who come for help to hang around while Bob is there or in his stench-filled wake. We can ask for their compassion, but we can expect nothing.
We can hand them some Febreeze and hope that it's not as carcinogenic as it seems it must be.
I'm not sure where we can look for the answer. One of the North American martyrs (I can't recall which one) specifically asked to be sent back to work with the the Iroquois, or the Utes or whoever, because he absolutely could not stand them. He found them utterly repulsive. And smelly. Can we ask this of the elderly ladies of the Catholic Charities? I think we already do, every once in a while.
And what would Jesus do? I discussed this when I first mentioned Bob. We know Jesus embraced lepers. And by this we don't mean he really liked to help the cause of lepers. He actually embraced them. Gave them bear hugs. Kissed them.
And as I've said before, I'm guessing that no one smelled too great in Jesus' time, not even Jesus. If Jesus had smelled great to you and me the people of his time would have thought he smelled bad. No one would have blinked at Bob. Unlike us, their eyes would not be tearing up. Everybody probably smelled a lot like Kenny. The lepers probably smelled even worse. But since everyone was not used to nice smells even the lepers probably weren't too bad.
Although, I do recall that in "Ben-Hur", when Ben-Hur's girlfriend finally finds his mother and his sister locked away in the prison, the turnkey covers his nose and gasps, "Lepers!" when he opens the cell door. But this may be because he is afraid of breathing in leper germs. But then...they didn't know about germs and airborne viruses back then. But then, the actor who played the turnkey may not have called that to mind. We'll never know. He is an actor who has no idea how accustomed to awful odors an ancient turnkey would have been.
The slave galley couldn't have smelled like a rose garden either, but no one ever brings up that problem.
My point is that Jesus could have just cured Bob of any problems Bob had and may not have noticed Bob's hygiene one way or the other. I doubt any of Jesus' suffering was on account of anyone else's lack of personal hygiene.
My main concern is that Bob gets fed. He mostly came by for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. He didn't come by very often, luckily for everyone involved, but when he did there was at least a donut involved.
I think we're going to have to go track him down and check on his stomach status. We do have something Jesus never had.