October 21, 2007

The World is About to Turn

This morning after church, I walked around Georgetown for a couple of hours. I had never been there before and it was a lovely day for a stroll. Georgetown is a shi-shi (is that a word?) kind of place. There are old buildings, quaint and charming, alongside expensive shops and upscale restaurants. I didn’t buy anything expensive, just a couple of used CDs, but just about anything you can imagine was for sale. There were Barney’s and Kate Spade, with the palm reader upstairs; rare books and the Egyptian store; Godiva and Subway. It was crowded with tourists and maybe locals, too. There were old people and babies being wheeled around, people, like me, consulting their maps, and folks just looking for a nice place for Sunday brunch. And there were a lot of street people. One woman was on the corner, dressed all in white, holding a basket with a hand-written sign that read “Giving is a blessing.” All she had in the basket was pennies. There were men, many of them, with paper cups held out, some of them sitting on the sidewalk, others on overturned milk crates. I remember thinking that there were so many more of these folks than there are back home. And then I wondered if that is really true. I wondered if I have just gotten so used to seeing them in my own setting that I don’t even notice them anymore.

The anthem at church was the Canticle of the Turning. It has these words: “From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a stone will be left on stone. Let the king beware for your justice tears ev'ry tyrant from his throne. The hungry poor shall weep no more, for the food they can never earn. These are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed, for the world is about to turn. And my heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all the tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.”

And that was the song that was running through my heart all afternoon.

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