As I walk the streets, my mind ablazing with sorrow,
I watch the parade of humanity pass me by.
There, the young girl is working the street corner
to pay for her stupor high.
Down the street
an old bag lady, downcast eyes and gnarled fingers,
pushes her home in a rickety shopping cart.
By the bridge that overlooks the underpass
a distressed woman totters on the very edge of life,
her mind confused and torn by delusions,
cries out in her loneliness,
decides to end her pain.
A thief stalks the store fronts, his heart cold and uncaring.
A down-and-outer, his home a cardboard box,
gives me a toothless scowl.
Deep in the darkness of an alley
a junkie, eyes delirious and arms marked,
plunges the needle into his vein.
These are but a few of the denizens
that inhabit the labyrinth of society,
yet there are more, so very many more.
Who cares for them?
Who listens to them?
Who understands them?
God cares for, listens to, and understands His children,
and His tears flow into the gutters,
through the highways and byways,
filling the nadirs and zeniths of our cities and towns.
Do we care for them?
Do we listen to them?
Do we understand them?
Do not pass them by.
Peer into their eyes to see their living soul within them.
Acknowledge that we are brothers and sisters in a global family
living in a world community under the rule of God.
Only by the grace of God do we not walk their journeys.
It is part of our nature to criticize and judge,
but before we criticize and judge severely
let us consider that we ourselves are imperfect, have made many mistakes,
have lost the way, and will get lost again.
Take a look inside, and we will look at others differently.
Do not push away with contempt, but reach out with mercy.
Do not crush with clenched fists, but reach out with outstretched hands.
This is what life is all about.
Come along with me,
and we will look at ourselves and others in a different light.