The Word of God

Eviction Notice

man in distress with woman and child in background and moving boxes around

“The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless–just workin our way toward home.” ― Denver Moore

There are, regretfully, only a few scenes in life that startle and awaken the spirit within each of us to take spiritual stock in one’s life, especially when we are moving just a little too fast. One of those moments surprised me last week during my usual run of wearing my amazing hats.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I like to respond that I have the best job(s) in the world. Like many people I know, I am juggling several plates in the air anytime at which they could all come crashing down leaving an unfathomable mess to clean and pick up the pieces. Thankfully, that is not what I am going to tell you about today.

I am blessed to be able to help more than a small number of people save their homes, mortgages, and stay in their homes and keep them from joining the homeless statistics that are growing in our country. For the most part, my clients are just you and me who have fallen on very unexpected times and found themselves in situations that they would never have imagined. Added to that remarkable itinerary and weekly array of encounters includes Hospice visits, which basically help people deal with their own end-of-life issues with marvelous experiences, some of which I have written to you earlier in this collection of inspirational posts.

This past week, something surprised me and while it was unravelling, I knew I had to write to you all about it. I witnessed an eviction with all the usual players and actors that you might imagine would be present. There was the property manager, with the landlord, law enforcement, a few over-curious neighbors, with the backdrop of a large pile of what used to be the belongings of a small family. I knew that, not because I saw any of them during the awkward and unsettling process, but because there were toys and baby bottles strewn about the discarded evidence of life along with a couple of family photos taken at a clearly much better time of their lives.  I was heartbroken not because I knew families like this one, but also because I felt powerless knowing that this scene was probably being repeated all over the city. Even though this drama was unfolding, I had a job to do. This particular day had me collecting some signed documents, processing a few rental assistance agreements, delivering a check, and being on my somewhat-tempered and not-so-merry way.

My next stop was the hospice central office to collect a list of patients to see the next week and to review their medical conditions before I was to call each one of them at home or at the facility where they were living. I put all my paperwork from the day in a somewhat orderly particular and personal filing system in my back seat and proceeded home. There I was greeted by an orange tabby feline which seemed eager to see me, although I knew that all the fawning was just cat-language for “play with me, feed me, and then leave me alone!”   

I love the subtle slowing down of the day right before dusk when nature starts to wind down and gets  ready for a silvery moon to rule the night. I must have dozed off there on the couch with my little feline friend having returned and this time using the left side of my body as a bunk bed, fast asleep.  It was also then that I remembered my makeshift back-seat filing system and quickly went outside to retrieve it. It was a clear and cool night with only a handful of visible stars in the sky, slightly blinking and perhaps engaging in a stellar concert of peace and beautiful celestial silence.

I must have made more than a few sharp turns during the day because when I opened my briefcase on my dining room table, the different layers of paperwork that I had left there were scattered and from a little distance it looked like a deck of cards about to be dealt. What I thought significant were two things: I must have mistakenly been given a copy of the eviction notice from the afternoon event from the property manager, and a copy of a doctor’s report for one of my patients marked “urgent” had landed side by side. Both the eviction paper and the report told me the rest of the story that I needed to read to put this remarkable day in meaningful perspective.

The young, displaced family had been jobless, without a vehicle, alone with no extended family and behind on their rent for nearly five months and fortunately had saved enough money to take a bus to North Carolina to live with her grandparents to start life all over. That would explain why so many of their personal items were left behind. The urgency of my patient was also stunning. I was told to make sure she had everything in spiritual and emotional order, especially in the next two weeks because that was apparently going to be the remaining days she had on earth.

Although I was relatively and appropriately tired from the day, I could tell there was something relevant and worthwhile going on here that I just did not want to miss, first to share with all of you, and for me personally to remember. After a certain age, it is as if we all have been served notices to vacate. All our lives are composed of change and movement and restless hearts beating for new chapters of mystery and love. Remember all those changes in life that caused great anxiety and gloom in our hearts? Maybe there is a steady purpose behind every change we face no matter how great or minute, or even seemingly insignificant.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus pointed out in 500 BC that everything is constantly shifting, and becoming something other to what it was before. Like a river, life flows ever onwards, and while we may step from the riverbank into the river, the waters flowing over our feet will never be the same waters that flowed even one moment before. Heraclitus concluded that since the very nature of life is change, to resist this natural flow was to resist the very essence of our existence. “There is nothing permanent except change,” he said.

And so, I would submit that all our lives we face eviction from one mindset to another, from one identity to something better, from one set of memories to ones that are supremely more wonderful and refreshing.

Everything changes until it doesn’t. And that my friends will be Heaven.

“…sometimes changes bring rivers of tears, feelings of helplessness and despair, but paradoxically, it is precisely in the transition that we build our power and our happiness. Not a power and a happiness ‘external’ and therefore fragile, but ‘internal’, deep and stable…”  Micaela Becattini

Share your thoughts (22 thoughts)

22 thoughts on “Eviction Notice”

  • Julie Trevino says:

    Thank you for another great article! I loved it but read it again and again and again because I didn’t know how to respond to it. I always pray before responding and ask Jesus to help with my response. So…this is what Jesus told me to say…First of all, God is constantly putting messages right in front of our faces…and…most of the time we’re so busy that we don’t see it! That’s happened to me a few times then later it hits me!!! I think from now on I’m going to meditate before going to bed every night and ask myself ‘what message did Jesus have for me today?’. Also, the phrase that caught my attention was what the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, pointed out that everything is constantly shifting and becoming something other to what it was before. That alone is mind boggling!!! But oh so true! Blessings to you. Keep the articles coming please! I look forward to the next one.

    • Caro says:

      Welcome back, Julie, and thanks for taking that subtle and fruitful pause to respond! Change is the first law of nature. Thing is, we all change differently. We each posses a different forward momentum that enacts change in us. Yet some parts of us don’t change; Boy marries girl hoping she will never change- and she does. Girl marries boy hoping he will change- and he doesn’t. Change for some of us simply means we grow harder and dimmer and yet there are those who have had their heart cracked open like a broken egg, and they change quickly, growing shinier by the day. Yes, nature is change. Welcome to life!

      As a side note, I think you will like our next post. It is about the mysterious loving nature of the dog!

  • Veronica Leal Altamirano says:

    Change is something we all go through and I’ve had the blessing of change since I could remember. A change of school, a change of my guardians, a change of city or town, a change of “family”, and a change of the depth of my Faith to name a few changes. As I’ve grown and as each day passes I truly feel like all the changes were so hard, even the ones that would eventually fulfill the peace, joy, and happiness I was lacking. Yes some of the changes were filled with heartbreak and others filled with joy and happiness, but I wouldn’t change any of these changes. I know that each and every step of the way I had Jesus right by my side or carrying me through when I no longer had the strength to endure the changes. May our Faith always overcome the fear of change and may God show us the way! God bless you and thank you for another great article!

    • Caro says:

      Thank you so very much, Veronica, for taking the time and the effort to respond to our latest blog post concerning evictions of all sorts and kinds. Change is so difficult and yet it’s what we do every day. I pray that all good things will come to you and your family always!

  • Anonymous says:

    Stand by for change

  • Mary Ann Ramos says:

    Your beautiful reflection made my heart sing today! It brought to mind so many changes in my 60 years of life. Changes that sometimes felt like the most terrible circumstances, but, in hindsight, were definitely God’s grace filled opportunities and times of growth for me and my family. Sister Emiliana used to tell me God is always working for our good, even when things seem dire. Each of these changes are lessons in trusting God. Praise God!❤️

    • Caro says:

      “Oh, how wondrous our lives are! How everything can change but in a single instant… It is truly a miracle of God. We believe we can control our lives as we want, but in truth, we never know what’s coming up. Hence, all we can do, in the end, is enjoy the moments given, pray, and hope for the better. We must always remember that everything will change, and every moment will pass, so it should be embraced whilst it is still within our grasp.”
      ― Tamuna Tsertsvadze, Notes of Oisin: From an Irish Monk to a Skaldic Poet

  • Denise Guerra says:

    Another wonderful story. True, life is ever changing. I for one, am not fond of change, especially when things come too fast. I know change is good for the most part but, it is almost always never easy. I often think of my “eviction” from earth and wonder who I will meet up with. Will I be fortunate enough to see family again? These are truly things to ponder as we go through these changes in our lives. Thank you again for a wonderful story.

    • Caro says:

      Thank you, Denise, for taking the time to respond. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment about the questions in life that often perplex and nag us. We experience so much in such little time!

      “The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
      ― Roy T. Bennett

  • Margie says:

    Your writings remind me I do resist change and in doing so “resist my very existence”. Change still causes me great anxiety even when it is welcomed and exciting. A fresh start, a new beginning, a call to leave our baggage behind and trust the Lord to serve Him in a new way are all needed now and then. Thanks for challenging us to crawl out of our comfort zones and do the right thing.

    • Caro says:

      Once again, Margie, your words help us clarify and dignify our reading. perhaps you could agree with this statement by C. JoyBell C.:

      “I have realized; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. That I see and feel who I really am, the most! I think that’s what a comet is like, you see, a comet is born in the outer realms of the universe! But it’s only when it ventures too close to our sun or to other stars that it releases the blazing “tail” behind it and shoots brazen through the heavens! And meteors become sucked into our atmosphere before they burst like firecrackers and realize that they’re shooting stars! That’s why I enjoy taking myself out of my own element, my own comfort zone, and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because it’s during those scary moments, those unsure steps taken, that I am able to see that I’m like a comet hitting a new atmosphere: suddenly I illuminate magnificently and fire dusts begin to fall off of me! I discover a smile I didn’t know I had, I uncover a feeling that I didn’t know existed in me… I see myself. I’m a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I’m not going to die out. I guess I’m more like a comet then. I’m just going to keep on coming back.”

    • Kristen says:

      “Resisting change is resisting my very existence;” I’m going to put this up on my wall somewhere. What a powerful statement. Thank you!

      • Caro says:

        Absolutely wonderful! There are, however, some changes that need to be resisted in the cases that we are going backwards in life’s adventures.

  • Kristen says:

    Thank you for sharing this eye-opening story. The title alone clenched my heart and I had to emotionally prepare myself for what I knew was going to be a tough read. Recently, an old friend and I had an unintentional conversation about money and death. In our younger years, he was frugal to a fault and had a plan for when he became older. He wanted to live comfortably and believed he had to work until his body wore him down to achieve this goal. I, on the other hand, was more impulsive and spontaneous with my money. I wanted to live now and not later. Which, as you could imagine, often left my bank account empty. As grown adults with steady jobs, we revisited this conversation, and realized we had somewhat switched mindsets. I live to make money so I don’t stress about losing my home. But I am noticing that I am having to sacrifice family time to do so. My friend worries less about money, spends within his means, and is able to spend a lot of quality time with his family. I couldn’t imagine living in this economy scraping by, let alone with kids. That weight has to be heavy. What do you say to people in these situations? Are there even any words? I randomly catch myself imagining me lying on my death bed, asking myself, did I do enough? Did I love enough? I don’t know why I think of this image or these questions. I don’t know if it comes from me or from God, but it weaves into the complicated balance of materialism and idealism; which satisfies the heart? What can we survive on? I have been poor before and I have been homeless. Although it was a dark time, nothing compared to the moments in life when I felt I had lost my spiritual connection with God. My faith had depleted and I hit rock bottom. Without God, without trusting in Him, it’s extremely difficult to pick yourself back up off the ground. There is always a way. Always. I have to believe God has a plan for these families who are going through these journeys. Because I trusted Him with mine, and I got out of that dark well. This definitely was a tough read, however it has sparked some inner-work for myself. I have a lot to think about and meditate on. Thank you for sharing. Your work is magnificent. Please never stop sharing your experiences with us. God Bless.

    • Caro says:

      Thank you very much, Kristen, for the in-depth analysis and emotional response to our latest post. You never cease to inspire and challenge.

      Idealism vs Materialism

      • Materialism gives prime importance to matter whereas reality is what our mind tells us is the viewpoint of idealists.

      • Materialism tells us to seek instant gratification of our desires while idealists try to harp on the importance of working towards a near-perfect future.

      • Idealism says that it is our state of mind that guides our behavior and emotions, and we perceive reality on the basis of what our mind tells us.

      • Materialism attributes all actions and behaviors to matter or atoms of which all of us are made up.

  • E.Munoz says:

    It’s our way. It’s the refiners fire.

    • Caro says:

      What the great mentor is always looking for is a person who is willing to tap his genius, to put it through the refiner’s fire, to do the hard work to develop it. Indeed, mentoring is the medieval art of alchemy-turning plain old human steel into hearts and minds of gold.

      Oliver DeMille

  • Abel Gonzalez says:

    Excellent read and definitely a true perspective of the changes of life..

    • Caro says:

      Thank you, Abel, and God bless you and your entire family!

      “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

    • Caro says:

      Thank you, Abel, for your comments. May God bless you and your entire family always!

      “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.