Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Jesus said that in his Kingdom the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

These people are neighbors.  But something separates them:  a fence.

A fence to keep poverty out.  If you walk along it you will see that it is placed specifically blocking every view  that borders a neighbor's yard that looks less than desirable.  Perhaps it is easier to live in wealth while your neighbors live in ruin when you don't have to look at it.  The thing is, my heart is broken for both of them.

Because those big, fancy houses are prisons too.

The poor may be imprisoned by institutions that hold them back, by the shame comparison, the uncertainty of whether or not daily needs will be met.  The rich may be imprisoned by a tight grip on stuff that moth and rust will destroy,by the isolation of comparison, and by a belief that their value comes from their status.  

Maybe the first will be last because that is what they really need.  To be humbled.  To realize that they are broken deep down inside.  Maybe the last will be first because that's what they really need.  To see that they have infinite value.  To realize they are not junk, because God doesn't make junk.  May God help us to realize that we are wretched sinners, but we are also original masterpieces.  May we tear down the fences that keep us from seeing pain and delve into the messiness of the lives around us.  May we humble ourselves so that those around us can be lifted up.  Like Jesus did.

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