There are angels in our midst.
We stride a land long bereft of hope and opportunities. A land in which even the Children of God seem to turn a deaf ear to the lessons of his Son, who was homeless and unemployed and advocated socialism as a tenet of Christianity.
Who, when questioned concerning the multitudes of his day, said simply, "Feed them."
Who, when questioned on "What must I do to be saved?" replied "Sell all you have, give it to the poor, leave your home and wife and parents and follow me."
Who told the religious leaders "Even as you have done unto the least of these, so have you done unto me."
Jesus never had a savings account, a resume, a credit score, a 401k, a fixed address, or a political agenda. Every church and church member in the world would do well to remember that. those who ignore those facts are worse than hypocrits, and will no doubt someday hear the words 'depart from me ye workers of iniquity, you generation of vipers... I never knew you."
I stand in a dinner line with vision seekers and homeless families, with licensed psychiatrists and decorated veterans, alcoholics and rape victims and prostitutes and junkies, carpenters and plumbers and truckdrivers and waitresses. The Flagstafff Family Food Center feeds between 100 and 200 people daily using only donations of food from local grocery stores and bakeries and restaurants; a mission of mercy, preaching love and equality among people who are daily led to feel that they are the unwanted refuse of a society that refuses to accept responsibility for the economic and social abyss into which more and more of its citizens are falling. For while there are any number of long-winded defenders of hedge-fund managers and banking, Wall Street and its schools of parahna-like stockbrokers, no one can explain how people could choose to be homeless and poor and lost.
That somehow, somewhere, the homeless are responsible for the collapse of the markets and housing industry, and that the true victims are somehow the huge corporations who walk away from multi-million dollar defaults with a clean slate and a handful of government money; the stockbrokers and hedge-fund managers who erased a nation's savings in speculation, while most of them made money on the deal. These modern-day pirates are welcome at any bank in the nation, with money to spare to start the balloon growing again, while working class Moms and Dads cannot borrow enough for a tank of gas to reach the minimum wage jobs they have had to acccept on the verge of retirement. Parents are waging wars with prayer, but the churches they attend are busy trying to secure commitments from their members to keep tithing regularly, with the promise of overflowing riches from Heaven if they do.
Who would God bribe?
And in the midst of this, we rub shoulders with angels, unaware... feeding the hungry, giving hope and comfort to the lost, doing, even unto the least of these, as they would if the Son Himself had appeared at their door. Stretching shoestring budgets to work a miracle of loaves and fishes every week, week in and week out.
Walking on water, and turning a storm of tragedy into the wine of human compassion.