New Yorkers and individuals from the deep South, especially mothers, have something in common. As different as their politics, lifestyles, values, priorities, and food are, true New Yorkers and people of the South can tell a phony from a long way off.
It’s as if they can smell them. If caught, in the South you’re expelled, in New York they look to exploit. If you fake it on the lower east side or along Broadway where the vendors are hustling clothes, DVDs, and a wide assortment of counterfeit contraband, you will find yourself holding junk and an empty wallet. If you hustle your way into a financial circle, enjoy the moment; payback is on the way. When it does you will find yourself labeled, categorized, and branded by everyone that matters. If you talk you way into a music gig; enjoy the set. It will be your last. Busking will be the only option after that.
Across history bluffs have been run and called. It is funny and sad to listen and imagine the scenes. “The Rabshekah said to them, ‘Tell Hezekiah that the Great King, the king of Assyria, says this: ‘What kind of backing do you think you have against me? You're bluffing and I'm calling your bluff. Your words are no match for my weapons. What kind of backup do you have now that you've rebelled against me? Egypt? Don't make me laugh. Egypt is a rubber crutch. Lean on Egypt and you'll end up flat on your face. That's all Pharaoh king of Egypt is to anyone who leans on him. And if you try to tell me, ‘We're leaning on our God,’ isn't it a bit late? Hasn't Hezekiah just gotten rid of all the places of worship, telling you, ‘You've got to worship at this altar?’” (Isaiah 36.4-7)
You and I have a extraordinary chance to go through life, strong, confident, and assured. It’s no bluff. God offers us everything. It starts in our acceptance of compassion, mercy, and open community. It can happen in your life and mine, today.
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