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If they turn away they believe they will be unscathed by extreme poverty on my 66th birthday I took along walk and bus ride and then prepared this epiphany

January 29, 2017

A Psalm of David.

1 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be overthrown.

And it almost goes without saying that he who does not do these things shall be overthrown and never abide in His tabernacle…



first person I met this day on a long walk was Lonnie a construction worker and the second Maria huddling against the cold carrying her possessions. We both talked about sanctuary, which this place should be for everyone. The third person I saw this morning was a woman who was in distress and lost her sweater. I returned it to her. She was grateful and gave me a packet of note paper saying, “I am grateful for…” Makes me wonder in these harrowing times. I went on a bus ride next with fifty people who ride the bus when it is too cold. Many were weary and lacking a safe place to rest. Some slept with their belongings stretched out between the rows. It was hard to fathom how we arrived at this point and in these circumstances. We are all asleep pestered by phantoms of people languishing in extreme poverty. Of all the encounters that I have had already the most difficult course has been the poverty of the spirit that stretches across the continent circumventing the Statue of Liberty all of the way to Alcatraz and over and beyond the proposed Nouveau riche great abysmal wall – as the seas rise and gobble up the coast line and petroleum by-products pour into the lakes, rivers and estuaries with their effluents I wonder what resourcefulness it will take to restore a balance and find common ground. In a polarized and troubled world there seem no escapes for the most vulnerable and for the super rich there is a false bravado that their lives somehow will be immortal only if they turn away.

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