the good of mankind

Today I spent practically an entire day of my writer’s retreat doing research on a couple of essays that I began while in meditation this morning. I just now decided that I don’t want to publish the research. I rather want to comment on the good of humanity. Every news broadcast, Facebook post, Google RSS feed, Twitter tweet, forwarded e-mail, and television broadcast reminds me of how important it is to share what I have with those less fortunate.

From the angels who have descended on Kmart to pay off lay-away bills for unsuspecting families, to a charitable endeavor called “Fairy Dog Parents”, people are taking the little that they have and turning it into much for those who have nothing. Visit for more about this unique charity.

Everywhere I go I hear the same refrain:  I’ll be glad when 2011 is over. It’s been very hard. I am astonished by the heart-breaking stories that people begin to  tell when I share that my mom died this summer. I am in a new league of people–people who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

On my way home the other day, I drove through a very affluent neighborhood. Sprawling manicured lawns met paved driveways that led to 16-room houses with 2- and sometimes 3-car garages. The houses sat so far back from the street that I nearly had to pull over to see them. Those that I did see (while trying to keep one eye on the road) were brightly adorned with wreaths on doorways, strings of lights everywhere, and other decorations that heralded the coming day of Christmas. It obviously was important to the people who lived in this neighborhood to have a good-looking place to live.

I would never fit in here.

Then I thought about–as I always do–those who tonight will sleep underneath bridges and curl up in doorways and staircases. That is their home. It seems at times that there is no one in between the extremes. But people who appreciate paid-off layaways and veterinarian bills are there. I am there. I want to share what I have with those who may not necessarily sleep in doorways but need a little help.

Afterall, it’s Christmas. What better way to remember the gift of the Savior that to get started sharing.

I did write three little poems that I’d like to share here:

while thinking about how faith is lived
moreso than spoken
by all accounts most haven’t the foggiest
of how faith works anyway
it is grace that holds them together

faith should never be something
that you must defend
for its offense to others;
it should be the salve
that mends the wounds
inflicted by an offenders

I tripped over grace and mercy
while running to God with the broken
fractured fragments
asking Him to take the shrapnel
from internalized brutality
transforming it
into the best he could do with it
for His namesake

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