Sunday, July 22, 2018

"the least of these" and us

Mother and Love

my mother was full of love,
as full of love as any I’ve known,
even as Alzheimer’s cut her pathways
to form thoughts and to reach to others,
her heart still reached out,
particularly if a child were near,
were they being taken care of?
enough food? a place to stay?

she cared for others deeply,
and, as near as I can tell,
she did so without the revelations of empathy,

for me, empathy is how I can project myself
into seeing as another,
into feeling, at least a bit,
how the world reveals itself to them,
as I imagine walking in their shoes,

Mother must have had some kind of work-around,
maybe partly from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount
as she followed his call to care for others
in deed, as well as in heart,
she loved without condition,
all without living in as diverse a world as comes at us now,
all without as easy a feeling of another’s world
as empathy can force upon us,

Mother would be appalled by children forcibly 
separated from parents by a dictatorial government,
she lived a life of rules,
even without empathy, she knew what was right,
how can so many today follow fear and hate 
into denial of what should be so obviously right?

by Henry H. Walker
July 21, ‘18

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