Monday, December 15, 2014

Mary Letter - Day 15 - Consider the Poor

Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive; they are called happy in the land. You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;  in their illness you heal all their infirmities.

Happy are those who consider the poor; the
As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.’
My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.
And when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief;
   when they go out, they tell it abroad. All who hate me whisper together about me;
   they imagine the worst for me.

They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,  that I will not rise again from where I lie.
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.
But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

By this I know that you are pleased with me; because my enemy has not triumphed over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity;and set me in your presence for ever.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.Amen and Amen. Psalm 41

Dear Aunt Elizabeth,

we got on the road again today, although our route now is complicated and circumspect to avoid trouble. We set out today, as if we were going to the market, but then we doubled back and climbed the hills behind  Miriam's home. We climbed and walked for several hours, then stopped for the night in a small hut which they knew about. We were sent with provisions - oh, they have been so kind! After a simple meal of dates and bread we settled down for the night.

As we were climbing, we came across a small boy herding a large flock of sheep. He was dirty and ill-clad. I asked him if he had anything to eat or drink. He said he had finished everything he was given to eat some time ago. We gave him some food and water from our very generous provisions from Miriam. My heart broke for this little boy, who dove into the food like a wilds animal. I couldn't help but think of the dream I had and also of young King David. The shepherds of Judea are treated so badly.  They are so necessary to our lives and yet we push them away from our towns and make them live such hardscrabble, cruel existences. The little boy spoke with us a bit after eating and then fell asleep under the shade of a tree. He looked too small to be left on his own, with his scruffy dog curled up next to him. Joseph said we had to move on before nightfall and so we did. The image of the scrawny little boy, so brave and wise for his years,  will linger with me for a long time,

It is time for sleep. The thin straw mats are no match for our recent comfort but the climb made it so that I could sleep anywhere. The stars are bright tonight as I write to you. I remember fondly the nights by the fire looking up at the stars with you and talking with excitement about the children to come. It seemed so simple then. Goodnight, Auntie!



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