Good neighboring

I'll probably never come across a man
lying beside the road, beaten, robbed,
stripped, and left by callous thieves to die.
But often enough along the way I go
I see my brother beaten by what is called
"this life," robbed of his princely heritage
by false beliefs and ignorance of God,
stripped of his robes of native innocence
by those whom he called friends. And when I find
my neighbor wounded thus beside the way,
let me confess I, too, need oil and wine.
Give me to pour in oil of charity,
which covers the multitude of sins, and wine
of inspiration, which will let me see
through the guise of one in a deep ditch
of sin's futility and emptiness,
to glimpse instead the upright child of God.
And though I cannot take him all the way
to our Father's house, grant me grace and courage
to see him to an inn beside the road,
a place of shelter where the healing oil
and wine can do their work until he finds
vision and strength to walk the Way himself.

Elna W. Hull

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Minding our own business!
September 5, 1988

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