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Sure, you can sleep in our shed tonight:
out of the crowds
out of the cold
out of the way.

We don’t have room in our
too busy over-worked
too full over-fed
too timed over-stretched lives.

Sleep in our shed
out in the fields
out of our sight
our of our minds.

Bear your Child—our children
out on the streets
out of fuel
out in the cold
outside the system.

It’s the shed . . .
or going on begging

It’s not enough,
but it’s something.
It’s dirty and undignified,
but it’s something.

It’s unsanitary and risky,
but it’s something.
It’s out with the animals,
but it’s something.

Again and again
the Holy One comes with nothing—
poor - wanting
hungry - worried
thirsty - willing
different - caring
and overcomes

   the Holy One leaves with nothing—
giving all
giving love
giving peace
giving strength

living the Word of God;
  so we will want nothing
but to give ourselves freely
to those in the least
who may be the Most;

   just so we can live
in the peace God intends
in the justice God plans
in the hope God gives.

This verse I wrote in 1990 reminds us in every season to be open to simpler living that our frenzy to succeed leaves behind and leads us to fear.  With many of us experiencing, or having family, friends, colleagues or faith community members hit by the “economic downturn,” may we be open to invite people into our lives—to hear their complaints and pain, to help where we can, to heal where business and humanitarian organizations alike fail their employees.

May we be emboldened and empowered to raise the challenges needed to heal people, to heal faith organizations, to heal communities, to heal our nations, to heal warring peoples, to heal the world.  May The Fig Tree inspire readers to deepen their faith, caring and action as we leave one year and enter another.

Mary Stamp - Editor