Sunday, January 22, 2023

Bums and Hobos

While watching a movie with Alex Pickens Jr., a train jumping scene sparked commentary. 

"Daddy rode trains to Texas for work. Hobos ride trains. A bum won't work but a hobo will. Your grandfather was a hobo."

"A bum won't work but a hobo will," has become a whispered mantra in my writing.  The Holy Spirit has pointed Poppy's axiom at my writing.  Since college, a habit of fasting has permeated my life.  Now, rather than fasting food, I sense a call to fast the things that keep me from writing.  My sanctification is therefore measured in keystrokes.

A hobo's work is split into four parts.  Handwriting sparks hoboing the same way rain drives growth.  A seed can be in the ground but if there is no water, seeds remain dormant.  Water's scent sparks activity and handwritten reflection is [for me] a pathway to publication.  My hand is a truthteller.  Leaving space for difficult truths to bubble up is a form of mortification.  Inconveniences ooze from felt tips and ballpoints.  Once recorded, they haunt and compel involuntary confessions.

If I've written in a journal, the same content will bleed out in conversations or monologues.  Carelessness, which is perhaps a form of unholiness, leaves handwritten content undeveloped. Gratitude or satisfaction at having captured a thought is no longer enough.  A hobo's work includes online development of handwriting.  As water has to have a seed to stimulate, my handwriting courses toward my calling.  

Handwriting is like the rain in that it is not to return empty.  Longhand is supposed to achieve the purpose for which the Lord sent.  Since hearing Poppy's words, delays in transitioning from ink to online content are associated with the difference between a hobo and a bum.  

Bums are entrusted resources yet prove to be poor stewards.  Waste, abuse and misuse are some of the results of treasure entrusted to bums.  Disappointment, frustration and loss are bums' responses to generosity, investment and trust.  I have been entrusted a writing gift and have lost opportunities, frustrated influencers and disappointed stakeholders.  Going forward, my writing is considered a form of sanctification.  

In this season, delays in publication may be legitimately considered spiritual in nature.  My handwriting is a form of rain and keystrokes are the seed stimulated by the rain.  Shoots coming from the seed of my writing are drafts.  When pruning toward maximum harvest, some sprouts are sacrificed in order to make room for fewer buds of greater health.  Many of my drafts will not see final publication but my job is to produce.  The Father prunes me as He pleases and my writing is for the Father.

My writing is a form of generosity but to give, I have to publish.  Excellent, timely, obedient publications are required in order to steward the rain of my handwriting and the seed of my keystrokes.  A dormant root system, sniffing water, is fibrous.  As sprouts react to water, keystrokes are sinewy extension of handwriting.  Continuing to type through distractions prevents ineffectiveness and unproductivity in my knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I know the Lord is calling me to write as surely as Hebrews were called to act on the spies' report.  Timing, in both cases, matters.  When Israel was supposed to attack, they resisted and when they wanted to attack, it was too late.  If I delay writing when I'm supposed to write, when I begin writing it will be too late.

Bums delay but hobos get to work.  

Handwriting leads to online content and online content is pointed at a book.  Reliant has green lighted the chaplaincy book as an independent work but woe to me if I don't get the book done this year.  Semira is ready, Dave at Reliant is ready and Naudia is ready to give whatever I need to get a book done.  If I miss this window to write, like Israel at Kadesh-Barnea, the rest of my story will be negatively affected.  Now is the time.

Catching a train is a matter of timing.  When hoboing, a train has to be selected and level ground leveraged for running alongside.  At just the right moment, a hobo has to jump, grab, adjust and hoist while risking life / limb.  A misstep leads to injuries and expenses the traveler probably lacks.  A piece of advice for hobos may be, "Don't miss your train."

Finishing the book in 2023 leads to other endeavors but the hobo's order is:
  • Handwriting
  • Online Keystrokes
  • Book Completion
  • Other Projects (after the book).
Staying the course to write is an act of obedience.  My holiness is tied to differentiating myself as a hobo.  

A bum won't write but a hobo will.  If I carry the name of an honorable hobo, I need to walk in this season's calling and finish what the Lord has started within me: a chaplaincy book. 


  1. Thank you, Alex. H.O.B.O ing into publishing. Now connecting to the train is vital for you are at the intersection of timeliness and obedience. I trust you will make your train. I've already boarded.

    1. Thank you Steven. A hobo depends on kindness from town to town. Your post is a form of generosity to an unwashed traveler.