Blessed are the Poor…
This is from Alana’s Blog “Morning Coffee.” I thought it worth repeating here…
Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven….
Here is the place where grass pokes freely and rebelliously up through root-tattered sidewalk cracks. But these sidewalks get walked on, and are not just for show. The houses are small, cramped dingily together, with fringes of grass, old-fashioned blooms and rusty chain-link fences dividing the yards. The cars are old, bus stops close together and oft used.
The people are old, tired, and ill-clad: Even the young…I look at lined faces of women who perhaps are my age. At one time I was surprised by missing teeth. This does not phase me anymore. Slumped shoulders, care-worn faces, shuffling steps, distended abdomens and the ever-dangling cigarettes and stretched out tatoos come sooner than the young want to admit.
In the summer, at the pool, I notice that youth is for the young, while a fifteen year old mother splashes with her one-year old toddler in the shallow end where I am supervising my own brood. She’s too young for motherhood, I think…and yet, there she is, doing the best she can. I admire her for it, and wish I could somehow help.
The colors of this place are black, white, hispanic, all mixed together, shouldering the burden of minimum wage jobs together. The youngest generation, more often than not, is bi-racial…and I see the color of this neighborhood gradually changing to a more homogenous light/medium brown. The variety will be missed.
And there is an honesty here which draws me…I don’t have to pretend to be what I am not. I don’t have to pretend to be prosperous, or beautiful. I don’t have to pretend to have it made. If my hair is being impossible, or if I have a ketchup stain on my shirt, no one will care.
Sometimes, when I drive out of my neighborhood, I wonder if it’s vestiges are clinging to me…I get tempted to try and be more beautiful, more successful looking, spiffier, shinier….prosperous, so that people will think well of me. I feel shy, taking my kids to the playland on the other side of town…the side where we do not live. There, the mom’s pull up in their SUV’s, designer-clad children disembark to play. Although I don’t quite fit in as a part of the neighborhood where I live, I know for sure I wouldn’t fit in this world. Occasional forrays are all I can stand. But the truth of the matter is, no one can tell that my eddie bauer clothes came from the thrift store. No one can tell that my brand new Kia minivan is our only car…and what is best of all: In the grand scheme of life, no one cares.
And so I realize it is the lie lurking inside my head that I must combat: the lie told by the media, the lie on TV…the lie about the stuff, the lie about the looks, the lie about prosperity and peace, the lie that my full belly is all that matters.
It chafes…this living in the world, and trying not to be a part of it. How to go about doing this work? Here is where I am, and I want to bring God’s kingdom into this place…. Here, is where it fits for me not to fit.
– posted by alana @ 12:11 PM