The Presbyterian Women is studying the Beatitudes this year, and last night at Circle Meeting we studied Matthew’s second beatitude, “Greatly honored are those who mourn.” The lesson talks about how we are called upon to stand with those who are mourning – whether it’s mourning a death, or mourning a great loss, or mourning because we are ashamed. This suggested to me the angst that is becoming so apparent in the “Occupy ???” movement that is starting to make an impact on the country. I saw this article in the Huffington Post this morning, about clergy who are joining the movement.
In our on-line circle, I posted this comment to this lesson.
“Of course (or maybe not of course) I grieve and mourn for the folks who are left unemployed and homeless because of the selfishness of the fat cats on Wall Street. And yes, I own stock and have a little pittance in an IRA, but I’m not talking about those of us who are just trying to keep our heads above water as our life savings disappear on Wall Street. I grieve for the unemployed/underemployed. I’ve already posted about my sons and my nephew – hard working, intelligent men, all – who either can’t marry because they can’t see a way to support themselves AND a family, or who are struggling in rental property, with 10-year-old cars, in dead-end jobs that suck their souls, living in fear of being unemployed. They are 45, 39, and 34 years old, and have all gone through periods of unemployment in excess of 18 months. They are educated, and capable, and only want to be given a chance to be productive, but they are terrified that they might lose even their substandard jobs. At least one of them has worked at least part of every single weekend for the last year, in virtual slavery because he is so afraid that if he doesn’t give his last minute to the company he will be let go. At least, thanks be to God, they all now have some job. I grieve for those who are older and have no prospect of ever working again. At this point, I don’t know anything to do but scream at the government, pray for the unemployed, and trust that God has some plan or reason for the inhumanity I see when I read the attacks on the poor, and unemployed in the media.”
In addition to adding your prayers to mine for all these who are homeless and/or jobless, I encourage you to call or contact your government representatives to plead for a faithful budget – one that does not balance the budget on the backs of the poorest and least able to help themselves in our society and throughout the world.
Meanwhile, I pray and I weep.
(And this quick addendum – great blog from Jan Edmiston “Questions I’d like to Ask Everybody Running for President.” )