With Christmas fast approaching, it's easy to get caught up in the frantic maze of the holiday hustle and bustle: checking lists, buying gifts, all the while obsessing over decor, menus and the guests who will soon descend upon your house. While in NYC one year, I sat and pondered this fast-paced, "gotta make my appointment on time no matter what" lifestyle.
While there, I was advised not to touch, talk to or look at anyone. I was moved by the fact that the lowly, the filthy and those of humble means were invisible to the masses, but Jesus came that the lowly might be lifted, the filthy cleansed and the humble exalted.
The following poem was inspired by a true story.
JUST A SIMPLE TABLE
Just a simple table, insignificance embraced
by a cramped street corner, unseen by rushing feet
scurrying to beat competitors. They trampled
the cobblestones as they hurried to appointments
with important people, doing important things.
Few observed his crude wares - shoelaces, hard candy,
small trinkets of the sort the rich ignore.
Christmas, bleak for an enterprising urchin
invisible among the teeming Yuletide throng.
Suddenly, a noise, a crash! His world was shattered
in the blink of an eye! Flesh met metal, a crumbling cosmos.
Goods flew in all directions, life passing in fragments.
Candy yielded to leather soles, laces scattered, trinkets, sucked down
a subway maw, crushed by the ubiquitous iron horse
In shock, he perused the damage, the devastating loss.
Others barely paused, if they noticed at all,
just another street urchin eager to part them from their money.
Out of nowhere an elegant gentleman knelt at his feet.
Sartorial perfection, a giant of enterprise,
he salvaged wares unharmed with manicured hands,
straightened a toppled table, and brought order
to an insignificant child’s world.
There was loss but some was saved at the hands
of this distinguished yet anonymous benefactor.
In stunned silence the boy beheld the scene unfold
before his eyes: it could only be a miracle.
Recovering a voice lost in a maze of devastation,
he rubbed eyes that blinked in disbelief.
His focus was restored as a hand reached into pockets
where treasure hides. Green portraits stared back
at his coal-smudged face.
“For your loss,” a quiet voice explained.
Eyes of compassion blocked out all distractions.
Barely able to speak, he whispered,
"Sir, are you Jesus? I heard he was kind and good.”
"No," said the voice, "just His servant”.
Grace dispensed with hardly a word,
the apparition vanished among the city crowd,
but the dulcet aroma of life lingered.
Uncertain of the dream, he gazed at the table
with precious wares now few.
A bulging pocket revealed reality,
and waked him from the trance.
Peering into the mirror of a life transformed,
he could not remember the man's face,
only the image of a servant king
who stooped and called him friend
“Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it
unto the least of these, my brothers, you have done it unto me."
"…mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate."