The author, G.K. Chesterton, wrote the quote that is the title of this blog. It has been my favorite quote for over 20 years. For the 5 years that I was the chair of the Civil Service Council at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, the Chesterton axiom was the measurement that I used for my interactions with all members for the university community.
A time such as this, sweeps the detritus and chaff of our, perceived, needs and focus’s our thoughts on what is essential to our existence.
MJ and I have had our lives totally formed and blessed by our sons, Aaron and Jonathon. There is little that we have thought or intended or accomplished…that has not had the two most important people in our lives as the center of our production.
Christ and church and our fellow congregants…are an extremely important component of our journey back to Jerusalem. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday; ‘The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!’ Then Jesus, when he had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.’ John 12: 12-16 NKJV
Humanity is important to me. I do not have to philosophize regarding the poor…I seldom postulate a hypothesis regarding why the poor are poor…I have been poor on more than one occasion. I remember my dear departed mother, holding my hand as we waited for the people who were distributing the commodities…to throw us some government cheese, and dry milk, and potted meat. I, vividly recall, that we did not have enough money for milk that came in a carton…but rather we drank the dried government milk…and I could not keep it down. So I saved my pennies until I had a dime and purchased a glass from a local restaurant, that was the next street over from our house. When I first struck out on my own, the day after I graduated high school, I was still growing, taller, and thus had ‘high water’ trousers.
So, I think of the poor…daily. Not the middle class…the working poor…of which there are countless forgotten members…who are food insecure and have neither insurance nor a rich helpful relative…but are afraid and waiting: ‘In reply Jesus said; ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They robbed him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man he passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him he took pity on him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any additional expense you may have.’
Many of the working poor have just had their jobs go away. When they develop Coronavirus symptoms…many will not rush to the doctor…as they have no insurance. They have no money for the rent nor the groceries. If they are to receive the twelve hundred dollar check from the government…it is weeks away…and does not cover the rent…
It is vital for each of us that have some resources…to help our brothers and sisters who are with us in the boat on this stormiest of seas…when you gaze into their eyes…please reflect on how quickly and how abruptly…you life has already changed…