Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Homeless Wisdom

Each day I read in my e-mail In Box a devotional by Richard Rohr. Today's was this:

Less than a block from where I used to live in downtown Albuquerque, there is a sidewalk where the homeless often sit against the wall to catch the winter sun. Once I saw fresh graffiti chalked clearly on the pavement in front of the homeless. It said, "I watch how foolishly man guards his nothing–thereby keeping us out. Truly God is hated here." (I returned to copy the quote exactly because it felt both prophetic and poetic at the same time.)

I can only imagine what kind of life experience enabled some person to write in such a cutting but truthful way. I understood anew why Jesus seemed to think that the expelled ones had a head start in understanding his message. Usually they have been expelled from what was unreal anyway–the imperial systems of culture, which always create those who are "in" and those who are "out," victors and victims.

In God's reign "everything belongs," even the broken and poor parts. Until we have admitted this in our own soul, we will usually perpetuate exclusionary systems and dualistic thinking in the outer world of politics and class, and sometimes even in the church.

Adapted from Everything Belongs, p. 16

Interesting thought and something to ponder as the New Year approaches.


Cathy_H said...

I've want to get Richard Rohr's book 'The Naked Now' since someone I admire and respect (my pastor, lol) recommended it. Now that you've quoted him it is a must...

Mary B. said...

Cathy, I think you'll like Rohr's writings. I was introduced to him years ago when I first started reading and studying the Enneagram, a personality study that's my favorite. He was the first Christian Enneagram writer I read, and I really liked him then and find that I relate to much of what he writes now. Let me know what you think if you read The Naked Now. MB

Melody Lenox said...

Cathy, I loved The Naked Now! Like Mom I was familiar with him through his writings on the ennneagram, but was reintroduced to him when a friend of mine "randomly" picked up The Naked Now last year. I've read it several times and we even formed a "book club" to go through it together. We finished that book and are now slowly going through Everything Belongs. He has quickly become one of my favorite authors...I would highly recommend any of his books...The Naked Now probably the highest.