New User? Sign Up | Sign In | FAQ
Click here to contact us
What do you do when you're no Jesus?

What do you do when you're no Jesus?

When I saw a post in a local mutual aid Facebook group from a man looking for food, my first thought was “how can I help?”

He said he didn’t have electricity and needed food that didn’t require cooking. I offered a suggestion to which he responded, and we began a conversation. After a few exchanges, where Jason seemed genuine and eager to help himself, I became curious and searched the group to read his other posts.

They were a series of asks. First, he didn’t have a place to live and listed his Venmo. Then he wanted to know if anyone could offer work. There were a couple other posts requesting food donations, but one caught my eye. At the top was a caveat: You might not agree with my politics, but I’m still a human being and I’m hungry.

Teenager holds a sign on which is written in black marker, "I'm hungry."  Stock Photo | Adobe Stock

I kept scrolling and discovered he was a MAGA/brotherhood kind of guy who’d been scammed by someone starting a militia group. Jason had sold his house, donated the money to the cause and traveled to Texas to start a chapter.

He was ghosted by the leader of the organization after he arrived and found himself without the proverbial pot thousands of miles from home. When the reality of what happened sank in, he raised the money for a bus ticket, but returned to no home, no job and evidently no support system.

Jason listed his YouTube channel and I found nothing that surprised me when I clicked the link. Hate rhetoric about liberal snowflakes, Jews, and gays. And conspiracy theories. All strewn through the sixty seconds I watched of one video. It was clear from the other thumbnails that the rest were more of the same.

I found his hatred of people of color and other systemically oppressed people repugnant. As a member of the LGBTQ community, his support of people who overtly seek to harm us felt personal. Like I was being attacked.

As I sat in judgment of his beliefs and behavior, a memory flashed through my mind.

After I sold my house in Tampa, I stayed with friends for a while, rotating among them so I didn’t feel like a burden. I didn’t have much money; the real estate market was abysmal and I had done a short sale, so I had not made a profit. A toxic relationship had led to debt that I was crawling out from under and I didn’t even have enough for the first month’s rent, much less a security deposit.

Eventually, it became clear that burden status was approaching and I ended up at a dingy extended stay motel under an interstate overpass in Clearwater that I charged on a credit card. There was yelling and fighting late at night. I saw drug deals going down in the parking lot when I went to work. And the cops made an appearance more than once.

The Mosaic Platypus is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

One night, while the twenty-five-cent bag of ramen that was my dinner bubbled on the hotplate on the counter, I lost it. How had my life brought me here? Sitting on the edge of a too-soft mattress, living above a family of four squeezed into one room, not knowing how I would muster the energy or motivation to go to work in the morning, I felt hopeless and helpless.

This wasn’t the first time I’d been in dire straights financially. And I spent more than a minute beating myself up for being an utter failure, for not learning my “lesson,” and not having the fortitude to change the patterns that created the situation. It was a blood bath of criticism and condemnation with zero compassion.

I managed to escape because I had a support system that was willing to help once I was willing to be vulnerable enough to share the truth. Jason didn’t have that support system.

This is what Jesus talked about. Clothe the poor. Feed the hungry. Help when you can and don’t judge.

But I’m no Jesus. My judgment about Jason’s choices and beliefs kept me spinning on a mental merry-go-round for a couple of days, and when I finally broke through the dissonance and decided to send him some money, I discovered his post had been deleted.

I never found out why, although I’m guessing some folks in the group did a deep dive like I did and insisted he wasn’t worthy of their help.

Dissonance is hard. Experiencing opposing thoughts or feelings simultaneously is so uncomfortable that most people choose a side rather than sitting in that vexing place where there seems to be no answer.

Sometimes, even when you have the courage to be in that unknown, it can be too late when you finally reach stasis. Like it was for me with Jason. Hopefully going through that process with him means that the next time I find myself in two disparate places mentally and emotionally that it won’t take quite as long to find the balance.


The capitalistic strategy of subscription levels - you can see “this” if you pay to subscribe, otherwise you only can read “that” feels icky to me. I want to share my stories in the most inclusive way, so all of what I write - along with the podcast-lette - is available to everyone regardless of whether or not you pay.

I would appreciate the support if you feel so led and there are ways. You can purchase a paid subscription to The Mosaic Platypus for only $5/month, make a contribution through Buy Me A Coffee or get yourself a copy of The Ten-Minute Self-Care Journal.

Thanks for reading The Mosaic Platypus! I love sharing stories knowing they have the power to connect us and nurture healing. I appreciate you being a part of it. Have a great weekend!

No Comments

Add Comment
 Your Emai ID will not be published. We will not share or use your e-mail id without your permission. We strictly follow our privacy policy and Terms of Agreement.
Please send me various experts' latest articles, tips, podcasts, books, and blogs in an e-mail every two weeks.
I would like to receive instant updates in an e-mail about staci backauskas’s latest articles, blogs and other valuable resources
I would like to receive instant updates in an e-mail when staci backauskas or some one else responds to this particular blog
LinkedIN     Facebook     Twitter     Bebo     Plaxo     Brightkite     WordPress    
- eArticles
- eBook
- eTips
- eAudio
- eVideo
- Free Article
- Free Book
- Free Audio
- Free Video
Copyright © 2007-2009 WWW.LINKTOEXPERT.COM. All rights reserved.