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February 25, 2006

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zero

when driving back from chicago this week i wondered what the saturday song would be. chuck, you can't imagine how close to my experience in chicago this song is. the drive from the farm to chicago is a four hour, straight shot north on I57 then the remainder is inching along the various expressways in and around the city. as i took the exit ramp off the expressway to the area of the city i intended to visit, there's a man walking between the stopped cars (light at the end of the ramp), carrying a "help the homeless" cardboard sign that looks like it was just ripped off an old box found behind a store or in an alley. there are probably 20 cars in three lanes of traffic waiting for the light to change to green so they can get away from this person! the tension, even within the confines of the various vehicles, is strongly felt. no doubt many are thinking, "useless", "bum", "get away from me". i roll down the window and am hit by the arctic blast that has gripped the city and i holler, "hey! buddy!", as he's behind me about three cars back and over. i'm thinking "hurry, the light's going to change and people behind me are going to be ticked for holding up traffic". he hustles over and i hand him a five. the look on his face, which i only saw briefly for the light did change almost as soon as i handed him the bill and i had to hustle away, was one of supreme relief and gratitude. he kept saying, "god bless you". i could hear him as i was driving away. it was no grand gesture on my part to help this guy do his "job" (of which many in the vehicles probably thought he should go get). for indeed he was out there in the freezing cold being numbed by the icy wind, all day long, hoping for a dime or two. does it bother me that the money could go for drugs or drink? yes, but i can't not give just because that could be the result. how many of us would hustle that hard for so little enduring that much rejection and distain? very few. and those of us who live a safe, secure life wouldn't have a clue about how to make it all "work" if that safe, secure life disappeared. it makes me wonder how we allow such persons to work the stoplights at the end of exit ramps off expressways just to barely survive. why aren't we taking care of them properly? especially when many are veterans (that's honoring the troops, isn't it!?).

bob

Blessings to Tom T Hall for this reminder that the value of man is not measured in material goods, but rather the spiritual impact we make on others. We need to come to Him with the eyes of a child to see the beauty of this world.

PS. I'm sure you meant the Monk was supported by two canes, not two "Cains". The image is remarkable.

chuck

Zero, thanks for sharing that!
Bob, great to have you with us! On the canes, somehow that didn't look right, thanks for correcting it:>)

zero

the eyes of a child.
why don't retain that vision as we grow older?
how can we?

chuck

Zero, I remember a friend telling me a story about a 6 year old who had a young brother, less than 1. One night, it seems, the 6 year old tiptoed into his brother's nursery, taking care that no one saw him. Well, his dad did see him and he followed at a distance to see what would happen. When he creeped up to the mostly closed door, he heard the 6 year old saying to the baby, "Remind me what God looks like, I'm forgetting."

zero

that breaks my heart.

Matt

Bob - Is this Tom T. Hall? Lynyrd Skynyrd performed the only rendition I've ever heard. Tom T. Hall has a pretty similar song called, "The Year Clayton Delaney Died."

Chuck - Wow, this is a great song. I have loved it from the first time I heard it as a kid. You know, I think that it has to be heard to be fully appreciated - something about the perfect match of music and lyrics that paints a clear picture of old Curtis out on the porch playing his dobro.

There's something deep in me that wants (needs?) a Curtis Lowe in my life. How about ya'll?

zero

definitely, matt. anyone with a heart, soul, spirit longs to connect in a meaningful way with others. and sometimes that connection comes from the most "unlikely" sourcse.

chuck

Love the comments. I have been wondering about posting the song in mp3 format just for a couple of days. I've heard of folks doing that, and arguing that in the long run it helps rather than hurts sales. Oh well....

bob

Matt--I stand corrected. I'm more of a folk listener than a southern comfort listener. The message remains.

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