“Don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’. . . Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” From Matthew 6:1-34
My brother Tim lives out this attitude more perfectly than just about anybody I know. When I pointed that out to him he said, “My Higher Power takes good care of me.”
He does indeed.
Tim never worries about what to eat. He eats and drinks what is put in front of him (although since 1995 he turns down alcohol, even at the Messianic seder we attended last month.) When he lived alone, he’d eat one meal a day. If it was a weekday, he’d walk to the Senior Center for lunch. If it was a weekend, when the Senior Center did not serve meals, he’d make himself a butter, peanut butter, and jelly sandwich or his signature cottage cheese, canned fruit cocktail, and “any kind of crunchy cereal.”
He never worries about what to wear. He wears whatever comes to hand, whatever people give him: There’s the bright purple sweatshirt and the farmer overalls with one strap hanging loose–he didn’t know it was stylish, it was just missing a buckle–and jeans so long he folds them up and fastens the cuffs with paper clips, and the pink pants he says he saves for “special” and wears with the red shirt.
T-shirts with slogans for and against guns, slogans representing assorted music groups and religious cults. Right now, because most of them were stolen from the dryer in the basement of his apartment complex, he is left with the following T-shirts:
–black: “Guns and Roses.”
–black: Chinese characters for the name of a martial arts school.
–white: “Power for Generations.”
–long-sleeved red: “2006 FIFA World Cup.”
and (only “for good,” he says): white with multi-colored letters that look like they read “SKYPE” or “SKEPZ.”
The green checked shirt he wore for St. Patrick’s Day was a regular long-sleeved shirt with buttons. He brought it to me afterwards to mend. We hadn’t noticed the long rip under the collar. I’m hoping to quietly retire that puppy like I do the rest of the mending.
And hats. He likes hats, any kind. When we used to see him once a week he would always be wearing a different one, mostly because he kept losing them on buses. The leopard-spot brimmed hat is one of his favorites; random women have offered him money for it. It was lost for a long time but somehow turned up again. Maybe it was just lost in the apartment. Our niece gave him a Harrison Ford hat he has managed not to lose yet. This week he’s been wearing one of Jerry’s baseball caps from our trip to the Holy Land. It advertises “Sar El Tours, Jerusalem.”
A stretchy wristband with a skull on it. A leather pendant framing a picture of Jesus Verde–the “god of dope smugglers in Mexico,” he explains. His “Kabbala” name badge for his Wednesday class, with a ghost-like figure cracking up and saying “You want it by when?” on the back side. Those accessories complete his sometimes startling ensembles.
Oh, and there is a little pink parasol with the name “Yvonne” embroidered on it. I think he found it in an alley. I have yet to see him carry it. Maybe it requires a certain kind of rain.