While at Tellini's the other day with Den getting dinner, I picked up the Valley Planet which is a free local arts newpaper here in town. I read an article in the latest issue that was so great, I'd thought I'd post it here. Keep in mind I didn't write this, I'm just reprinting the article as it was in the Valley Planet.
Hope you like it:
Disclaimer: First, I want to make it absolutely clear: I am NOT writing about H., Alabama. I am NOT writing about the H. mayor. I am only writing about the crassness of SOME town or towns in this nation and how they treat the poor and homeless.
Jesus was a HOMELESS MAN.
He hung out with HOMELESS people.
The prostitutes, like Mary Magdalene. The lepers or untouchables or incurables, the unrehabilitated, the
lost souls. The unliked, the tax collectors. The
dregs of human society at that time.
Reminds me of those today with A.I.D.S. who have been kicked out of hospitals because their insurance ran out, or they never had insurance; those simply on disability whose insurance ran out; the prostitutes who still sell themselves; the mentally ill turned out from mental hospitals; the drug addicts who only think about two things: 1)where the next fix is coming from and 2)how to stop (Must be lovely for them!); the sociopaths who may be beyond help; and the few who have lost their homes and dignity in hard economic times. “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Jesus didn’t hang out with the mayors of the cities--uh, I mean--the priests of the temples and the kings.
He didn’t hang out with the money changers. Hm. One of the few times in the Bible where Jesus gets angry--at those darn money changers on the steps of the temple. “You cannot worship both God and Mammon.”
He had one pair of sandals. I bet they were really dirty, in that land of little water, until someone who loved him washed them for him. “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it also unto me.” Let me repeat that one, in caps: IN AS MUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO THE LEAST OF THESE, MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT ALSO UNTO ME.”
He had one robe. I bet that was quite dirty, as well, until someone who loved him washed it for him. “Love thy neighbor.” “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Guess what? SOME town is going to be LAST.
His hair was probably full of dirt and dust of the Middle East, and his sweat, beneath that hot sun. And it wasn’t clean until someone who loved him washed it for him and “anointed it with oil.”
He never knew where his next meal was coming from, though he never worried about it because he was like the “lilies of the field.” But, I bet he felt hunger until someone who loved him shared some bread and wine, until someone “set a table before [him] in the presence of [his] enemies.”
Everyone wants to go to church on Sunday morning and sing aloud how they love their neighbors. In SOME towns.
But, if Jesus were to come to SOME towns, in his dirty shoes and robe and dirty hair, they’d move him out of the downtown area, which is being “cleaned up” to make us--I mean--THAT town somewhere else--“look good” so some friends of the mayor--not OUR mayor, of course, but of SOME TOWN, sell houses and make money--and make Jesus walk on his aching feet to some other part of town, where nobody would want him, either. I suppose everyone would hope he, and the other dirty miscreants, would just wander on away to other cities. But, more than likely, what would happen is that some teenagers would think it fun to mug Jesus or torture him. Things like that have happened in SOME towns before. (I’m SURE it hasn’t happened in THIS town.) Or, Jesus might be walking along a main drag in the rain and a car might run him down. It happens all the time in SOME towns with the homeless. Or a night train might kill him as he crosses the tracks. (That happened to Charlie--oh, I don’t mean Charlie of this town where there are so many churches per block, for Heaven’s sake! Just Charlie of SOME town.) Maybe on a winter night, Jesus might die of exposure, from pneumonia. Or, he might say, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
I wish I were as forgiving as Jesus. I wish some of the rich people--and apparently there are MANY of them in. . . . SOME towns . . . could get away from their mammon worship and their fear for five seconds and do something about one of the worst travesties of this city’s--DER--I MEAN--SOME city’s--history. I’m sure no one is afraid of someone’s mayor--I mean, a mayor isn’t like the POLICE, is he?--in SOME town?
In SOME town, why are people not standing up in absolute outrage? Where is their courage to be the Good Samaritan? Where is the heart of Christianity in this--uh--SOME town? You do not have to put your very life on the line for these homeless: You need not take them into your own homes. However, you can stand up to the powers (of fluff--you know, like birds over the Courthouse) that be and say, “No. This is not right.
This is NOT how my community treats the poor and the homeless.”
Shame on all of you who have not said a word against this outrageous maneuver that was only for MAMMON, of course. I am thankful to and for the few of you who have spoken out.
If SOME town cannot respond to compassion, if SOME towns have no ability to empathize or to follow the teachings of their very own--well, at least, professed--God, then maybe embarrassment will help to move them. Maybe national disgrace will help. . .
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