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Showing posts from May, 2014

A Man Named Buford -- A Eucharistic Story

A man named Buford came to see me a few weeks ago. His need was great. Buford was homeless. I remember his desperation as he told me how he had been living in his car. He had been evicted by a girlfriend who had informally agreed to live with him at her place. He was a bit embarrassed to discuss the story thinking that perhaps I'd come to some kind of judgment of him. It's an awful thing to be homeless; no place or space to call your own, or place to rest; constantly afraid that a codes enforcement officer would come and say, you cannot park here, or you must move. The nights are still chilling cold, even with blankets in a car; then there is no place to shower...and that's a worse thing not looking presentable especially if you have a small job. I told Buford we would help him search out a place that fit his budget and that we would help with a deposit. The deposit would have to be a modest sum, nothing exorbitant. Finally, he asked me if I would fill his tank with ga

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall

            “ Good fences make good neighbors,” is often quoted from Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” Frost concludes otherwise as he writes: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.“…Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, and to whom I was like to give offense.  Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down.”      Does a fence create a good neighbor? Is my neighbor any more good on one side of an imaginary line or less so when there is no obstruction in between? This is the classic question described in the Gospel of Luke’s parable of the Good Samaritan. Fences are built out of fear and loathing.  Like the Levite in the parable, his fence is not physical. It is a pseudo-spirituality bordering upon arrogance and pride, a fear of becoming “unclean” by touching the wounds of a man left for dead.       And so we build a $49 Billion Dollar fence of flesh and metal along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Why?  Be