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Paved paradise, put up a parking lot

by davesandel on September 5th, 2020

Saturday, September 5, 2020             (today’s lectionary)

Paved paradise, put up a parking lot

Three times Thursday night I woke up with leg cramps. 50% of people over 70 get leg cramps at night, sometimes or often. That’s me. (The “often” part). The night is miserable, my restlessness carries over into the hours when only the watchman walks to stay awake.

I feel like the world’s rubbish, scum, at this very moment. Ugly.

Can I bless, can I even endure, can I respond gently to tomorrow’s world?

I don’t think so!

But the sun rises and shines in my window. The sky is fresh and blushing blue, the air is thin and sweet, and the thermometer says 67 degrees F. The chickens rush out rejoicing and run around like crazy. They are happy and so am I.

That’s called rejuvenation, and it can move either way, from the inside out or the outside in. I don’t care which it is. After my restless night I jostled rejuvenation along, moving slow, stretching out, breathing and breathing again to get things started. And they did.

I imagine waking up like that on a park bench, or on the ground behind a dumpster, or in my car, like the lady on NBC News this week who parked in the East Nashville Kroger parking lot for a year and slept, flattening on her seat to avoid the security searchlight. And of course, she is not the only one.

We are spectacles to the world and fools,

Breaking boulders like a chain gang, all day long

We wander about homeless, shoveling sand.

We are weak while you are strong,

You are honored but we are held in disrepute.

At this very hour we are hungry and thirsty,

Poorly clad, roughly treated.

The black woman in the white car felt more guilty than resentful. Driven to it or not, she knew she was breaking the law.

Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath, chewing on those heads of grain!

Gotcha!

Well, no, Jesus said, “have you not read …?”  And then the Pharisees knew they were done for, because Jesus knew his Scriptures backward and forward, and he read them with the genius of a creator rather than a creature.

David went into the house of God and took the bread only the priests could eat,

And he ate and gave it to his soldiers. Have you not read?

As if that wasn’t creative enough, Jesus took the moment to reimagine the sabbath as a creator.

The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.

May our mouths speak the praise of the Lord

And bless his holy name forever.

Getting back to the parking lot, Kroger’s HR lady Jackie met LaShenda, the black lady in the white car, at a Kroger job fair. The moment LaShenda’s two hour hiring process was completed Jackie told her new friend, “You’re hired! I call you in a couple of days.” And she did. Now LaShenda sleeps every night in a bed in her own apartment. Behind her Kroger mask she is crying a little and says, “Now I know what love is. For the first time in my life, I finally got peace.”

I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord, and all come to the Father through me.

Like my chickens carry the physical weight of God for me sometimes, that HR lady carried the weight for her friend. God-with-skin-on noticed her, got to know her, hired her and guided her toward Way, toward Truth, toward Life.

“Don’t let anybody steal your joy!” she says, every single day.

            (1 Corinthians 4, Psalm 145, John 14, Luke 6)

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One Comment
  1. John permalink

    Low magnesium can cause leg cramps.

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