New York is known for its’ displays of contrasts and extremes. Stand and reflect on the mansions and luxury apartments in Manhattan, slowly noting the differences with the tenement buildings just south and east. Check the disparity of dress moving through Grand Central; high priced bespoked suits walking along side distressed designer clothing, both walking along side ones truly distressed. Uptown and downtown cars, accessories, and even meals are everywhere you look! There are alternatives.
Far too much of what I see is beyond choice. Few willingly choose to live in squalor. Rare is the person who denies themselves a home. It is hard to imagine making the choice to go without a shower for an extended period of time. Yet I wonder if I am walking with one foot in the alternative.
If someone was to tell me that “instead of wearing seductive scents, these women are going to smell like rotting cabbages; instead of modeling flowing gowns, they'll be sporting rags; instead of their stylish hairdos, scruffy heads; instead of beauty marks, scabs and scars,” (Isaiah 3.24) I would wonder about their sanity. I know I would find myself questioning their logic and data. Yet far too often I am that person.
Do I wear the clothes of compassion, mercy, and love Divinity provides? Do I rest in the home Divinity offers to share with me? Am I willing to let God give me a bath, purifying and cleansing me from the “stuff” collected and smeared on my externals during the course of the day?
It seems I am metaphorically more homeless, at least spiritually, than I imagine. There is a big difference in the story. For many in New York the road uptown is long, hard, and filled with obstacles. Today, in the coming of the light, we have the ability to choose Divinity. We have no baggage. There is nothing to prevent, restrict, or in any way hold us back. Everything is in play. We can accept the Offer. We can live and be “uptown”. We, you and I, have a choice.
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