Mercy for the Rich and Poor

Mercy for the Rich and Poor July 26, 2016

Well, it’s a good thing I remembered that Romulus is ten today and therefore spent a goodly portion of yesterday afternoon in the car gathering a pile of presents for him. He’s been up since four, sitting, apparently, gazing out the window and contemplating the joy of his own existence. Gosh he’s cute.

Besides present gathering, I also managed to beat my desk into submission. We have this charming and quirky kitchen, redone sometime in the seventies or eighties, with a peninsula that juts away from the stove in an angular faux-marble glory toward the sink. You walk in and think What!?. But then you stand there and cook and it sort of all makes sense. But the real charm of the kitchen is the pantry, to which someone applied the word “butler”, but which I can’t imagine any butler in good standing taking seriously. It’s a corner with lots of cupboards and a window. I’ve shut the door between it and the laundry and mashed my desk into the doorway. The top cupboards all have dishes. But the bottom cupboards are now laden with the contents of my office. All the papers that are required for modern people to prove their existence and their activities. And all the work I actually do at church. Plus some school, though that will mainly abide in the school room, whenever I get to it.

Listened to Matt’s sermon about the Wicked Rich on a sort of a loop, because of all the interruptions, and kept thinking, as I arranged all my odds and ends and picture post cards, “I’m Rich” (insert weeping emoticon here) and also, “I’m Wicked.” Should I howl and moan lest the day of judgment fall and I be found hoarding all my fancy paper and never giving any of it away?

Guilt isn’t always a bad thing. We are so so rich as a culture and a country. Our material possessions overflow from one room to the next and into each and every car. We go out and gather every kind of item that brings instant comfort, instant solace to the poverty of spirit that looms ever closer as we gather more and more stuff.

Hate the idea of the rich being sent away empty. If God didn’t do something, that would be everybody that I know. The rich aren’t people out there on a high hill in Hollywood. They are me and all my friends.

On the other hand. God is awfully gracious–to the poor and to the rich. For the poor, he has all kinds of vindicating wrath being stored up against those who cheat them and make their lives more difficult. Like those awful people that rent you furniture month by month for a lot more than it’s worth and constantly threaten to take it away and then, when you’ve made all the payments, point out that it’s not worth anything any more and you might as well start over with something new. For the rich, there is the same forgiveness of sin offered to anyone who repents, and the chance to fling wide the gates of money to help not only the poor have much needed stuff, but the poor in spirit to hear the gospel.

This is a great comfort to me because watching rich politicians, for yet another week, talk about spending everybody else’s money, and pat themselves on the back, and deal in the death of the innocents, makes me feel weak and helpless. Whenever I’m feeling sad about my own life, I like to look at the Democrat party and thank God not that I’m not like them, but that I am too poor and to obscure to make any such pretense. Better poverty and a quiet spirit than lots of money to ruin other people’s lives with.

And now, I will go hide those presents, because that child is poking around and making a nuisance of himself, and will probably discover the very cool Polaroid camera that we bought him.

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