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God Found in Slums!

With each passing year, death seems more tangible. Physical losses shout loudly to those of us who have traveled not years, but decades.


I noticed weakness first in my hands.


In the first half of life, hermetically sealed bags of food were torn, ripped and defeated with aplomb. Now, scissors find their way onto my fingers before morsels can be applied from bag to tongue. The strength is no longer accessible, and though I dutifully squeeze a rubber ball, time and age, seem to have their way.


Gary Shandlin died today, a comedian of note within my generational orbit. He was just 66. I say “just” because, at 64, it seems so “around the corner.”


Why do we begin to notice obituaries? Our mortality beckons us to consider the kingdom of God, and how we have participated in its arrival.


I cannot but think of the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25 where Jesus describes his followers as visiting the sick and those in prison. So often modern preaching focuses on negative aspects of those who miss the kingdom of God, while omitting the fact that kingdom work is supposed to happen now.


Bono, of the band U2, once said, “God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war.


I might add, “God is in the hospital room”, where the sick consider their mortality, people just like me…and you.


When we arrive in those rooms, God is already there.


The kingdom of God is among us.


David Martin

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