The Man Was Poor As In “Poor Man”

[The] “poor” — those who are powerless, dismissed, or considered lesser in society. This is far larger than mere economic poverty. In the United States, we are pretty much trained to blame people who are poor, immigrants or refugees, victims, or gay, lesbian, or transgendered people. Far too many seem to think, even if to themselves, that if “those people” would simply work a little more, do things the right way, change their minds, stay hidden, or just “pray a little harder,” we’d all be better off. — Richard Rohr

The man was an immigrant —
whose mother died when the man
was eight and whose father died
when the man was thirteen.

The man was an orphan —
abandoned in a strange land,
tossed from foster home
to foster home.

The man was a foreigner —
who spoke a foreign language
and had to learn the new
language all on his own.

The man was “second fiddle” —
to the only son of the foster family
and when the only son left, never
to return, the man became the
caregiver to Grampa Carl and
Auntie Ann.

The man dropped out of school —
and went to work and
decided to become a businessman
in the new land.

The man went on the “bum” —
during the depression, hopping
railroad cars, being attacked,
having to fend for himself.

The man came home —
married and had two children,
and for awhile, drank away his pay.
The couple fought almost every day.

The man started his own business —
gained respectability, dressed

The man, missing something —
became a Christian and an
elder in his church.

The man, compassionate by nature —
identified that compassion with Jesus.
The man was loved by many including
his two children and, in her own way,
his wife.

The man had a heart attack —
and couldn’t keep up his
sole proprietor business.

The man asked the pastor —
to stop by for support. The
pastor told the man that
the man had to “pray harder.”
The man told the pastor —
“I’m all prayed out.”

The man took his own life —
poor man. At the funeral,
so many mumbled, “Poor Man.”

How many “poor” men and women
are there — out there — who believed
Lady Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door”?

All the man wanted —
was to see that lamp
beside the golden door
and so do so, so very many more.

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