different roads

Thinking about the diverse ways that people meet Jesus and live out the gospel faithfully. From mending nets to collecting taxes to chariots to desert roads to prayer meetings by rivers to jailers and earthquakes. This poem speaks of these different roads in our own time. May we recognize and celebrate each journey with Jesus.-Renée

Two Couples
by Vern Fein

She’s like Mother Teresa,
he like Saint Francis.
But those angels
appeared a long time ago
and I’m telling you
this was a couple
from the Chicago suburbs
who came to our university
to study Psychology
and discovered something
was wrong with humans
so they found Jesus
Who agreed with them.

They wore used clothes
and lived as paupers
in a small apartment
among those who
they sought to serve.
Giving of themselves,
offering a “hand up.”

Accompanying their neighbors
in a fight for fair treatment
when sewage backed up
into their homes
and struggled for justice
for hungry children.
No children of their own.

Figured out that the Church
at large was only giving a pittance
to lift up people in poverty
as Scripture commands
and wrote a book
to tell the world about it.

Went nowhere and spent nothing
except going to McDonald’s
on Fridays for a weekly treat.

Didn’t save for a funeral
and we don’t know
what will happen to their ministry
when they die soon
because they are old now
and sometimes their faces
seem transfigured.

My wife and I are middle class
teachers from Chicago
who live in a small house.
Once our sewer backed up
and we hired a local company to fix it,
were frugal and gave to the poor,
volunteered at that old house,
tithed to the church,
let our cars go from old to new,
went on a few nice vacations,
out to nice restaurants some,
bought new clothes
when we needed them,
raised our kids to be successful
and are old ourselves now
with paid for cremations
and money for our kids to inherit. 

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