Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Forgive me for not blogging for a whole week! Life got too busy with other things taking priority. I hope everyone had a blessed Easter. We had a lovely Easter weekend with a visit to Ted’s folks on Saturday and with mine on Sunday.
Today I tried to play catch-up. There were errands to run and ‘stuff’ to take care of. One ‘stuff’ I had to do was to get Amanda and make a visit to the local social security office.
Amanda gets social security income because she is permanently disabled. It basically pays her rent and electric bill. A week ago I got a mildly threatening letter that told me to come to the social security office OR ELSE her benefits would have to be terminated. Ya gotta love government programs. And I really do think that society has an obligation to take care of some of us – like Amanda. But too many people get caught up in the government assistance programs and learn to ride for a long time. Government needs to give assistance and then help people become self-sufficient and successful so they can stop being dependent. But because there are those people that take advantage of the government assistance to the point of abuse, I understand that everyone must be screened and checked up on so that the system is not being abused and robbed. Enough of my soapbox speech … getting back to Amanda.
When we got to the social security office, we had to check in with a computer and take a number. It wasn’t a simple first come, first serve, with numbers in order like 24 – 25 – 26 – 27 – 28. You were M217 or R125 or K247. They were calling several rolls of numbers all with a different letter as prefix. The place was packed with almost every seat taken. I opted to stand but was told by the security guard present that I HAD to sit down. Everyone who came in after me HAD to sit. Were they worried about us striking out with a kick or a punch? Were they simply being considerate and making sure we sat before our long time standing resulted in our passing out? Or was it to simply keep us lower, and subordinate? When a gentleman who was told to sit down took his seat next to mine, I looked at him and joked, “Oh, good, you look much less threatening sitting down!” The room was also freezing cold (the government must have neglected to pay the gas bill) although we were treated to a TV on the wall in front of us. It was permanently tuned to SSTV. Wow. Social Security Television. (yawn) And we also had no choice but to sit, bored and shivering, in very uniform rows. The chairs were all zip tied together so that the rows could not be rearranged.
Forty-five minutes after entering, our number was called. We went up to window “C” and had to explain why we were there. The girl clattered some stuff on her computer keyboard and told me I could sit down (again) until they called my name. After another half an hour they called my name and said to go to window number twelve, down the hall.
Have you seen the movie “Beetlejuice”? “Beetlejuice” is a 1988 American comedy horror fantasy film about a recently deceased young couple who become ghosts haunting their former home. They spend some time in the netherworld where they have to meet with their caseworker, Juno. It’s kind of creepy in the netherworld and there is a scene where the young couple meanders along a hallway as they look for the office they are to first meet with their caseworker. It looked like this:
That’s how I felt as I made my way down the hall to window number twelve. It was a long endless hallway with numbered windows, each with exactly two chairs in front (with the chair legs zip tied together).
Long story short, Amanda and I had our little interview and Amanda will continue to get her SSI check. But the whole experience left us feeling so de-moralized and degraded. The questions made us feel like we were trying to hide something and I did not care for the patronizing smirks as I was made to feel ignorant and lower class. Both Amanda and I felt really depressed as we left the social security office. It felt awful. After freezing while being strongly encouraged to sit in one of many straight rows of chairs, then waiting and waiting only to wait again, and finally being spoken to albeit not so respectfully – it made me very sad and discouraged at the whole social security program and any and all government programs our current administration has in store for us. I won’t dwell on it because Amanda is pretty much set right now and we won’t have to pay a visit for a while. But my sympathies go out to those who must endure visits to the social security office.
So to turn this around in order to look at the positive I once again look at our great Lord and Savior. When we present ourselves before Him, we are welcomed and loved, no matter what wrongs we have done. His mercy and grace is abundant as He builds us up. He does not make us wait. He does not tear us down.
Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Happy Easter!