“Do not pervert the justice due to the sojourner … Remember: you were a slave in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 24:17-18
Clean and refreshed from a hot shower on a cold morning, he sat on the bench and reminisced. Here in Burlington, the old Ethan Allen Club is being used as a shelter – a place where folks can spend the night. All they have to be able to do is walk in the door on their own. And that’s where he had spent the last several evenings. On this particular morning he had walked down the hill to the church to avail himself of a clean towel and a warm bathroom with a shower.
Back in the day, the Ethan Allen Club, now owned by Champlain College, had been a posh club for men. The well-healed would gather to grease the political and social wheels of their power and privilege. He was remembering … “I was a member of that club,” he told me. “I can’t believe that I am sleeping there now. I never dreamed that place would ever be a shelter for homeless folks …” There was a long pause as he looked down at the floor. Glancing up finally, and looking me in the eye, he said: “…And I never dreamed I would be sleeping on a cot in such a place.”
Do you remember where you’ve been- A slave to some past addiction; a wheeler-dealer in the marketplace; safe and secure in your own universe; down and out because of bad decisions or because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time? We’ve all come from somewhere and the places we’ve been don’t always suggest accurately the direction we are headed.
Look where you are going today. Heads up. There may be a stranger that could use your smile, your “Good morning”. There may be someone just waiting to offer you the same.
A blessed Tuesday.