I like it when I run into old friends. Lately it’s been at doctor’s offices and funeral services. And, as a pastor, I see some friends twice a year at church on Easter and Christmas. But one event that takes place every 10 years, or so, is the infamous high-school reunion. I recently attended my 60th gathering for the class of 1957. Reunions are very much the same. I’ll share mine and you can compare it to yours.
My 10 year reunion was by far the worst. I went to see if the class clown had become a better person or was he doing time at the Federal Correctional Facility? Did the football jock go on to the NFL or is he mowing lawns at the former Qualcomm stadium? What does the head cheerleader/ homecoming queen look like after 10 years of real life? If the 10 year didn’t ruin it for you, 9 years later you get the heads up that number 20 is just around the corner.
Each reunion follows a pattern. The first ones are about fancy clothes, fancy venues, dance bands, and telling lies about how successful you are. The 40th and 50th is a more cost-effective place to eat, CD tapes for the dancers, and casual dress. My 60th was the all-time best. We chose 1 of 3 inexpensive meals at Tony’s in Solana Beach. No dance music because most of us had canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, and plenty of soft food for those who had no teeth.
So why bring up reunions in a Rescue Mission blog? It occurred to me that no one has turned up at any of my 6 reunions and said they were homeless. Perhaps the shame, associated with poverty and homelessness is the reason that many of my classmates don’t keep in touch with their friends and family and can’t be located by reunion committees.