An Easy Place to Live

Last weekend I relished in all things beautiful and holy at B&D’s wedding.  We stayed at a lovely place on Cape Cod where the staff said “It was my pleasure” with every breath.  They live to serve the guests from spreading out our beach towels for us on comfy deck chairs to offering us drinks made of coconut vodka. It felt awkward for about 15 minutes and then I got kind of used to it.

Back to reality today.

The bride was raised Jewish and I was honored to stand with the couple under the chuppah which Rob Bell reminds us (thanks EH) symbolizes that God protects us today just as God protected the Hebrew slaves in Egypt.  They escaped into the desert which – as we know – was not an easy place to live.  It was hard to find food in the desert.  It was  hard to get comfortable.  It was hard to protect yourself.  It was hard not to feel cranky/anxious/envious of people living in the oasis.

Some people believe that being poor is inevitable for certain people.  Some believe that there will always be a servant class.  I wonder what it’s like for the housekeepers, bartenders, pool servers and maintenance people as they work day in and day out for people wealthy enough to stay in a resort like the one we enjoyed on Cape Cod last weekend.

What if we lived in a culture in which everybody occasionally serves and everybody occasionally gets served (and I don’t mean with legal papers)?

People are paid, of course, to perk our coffee, paint our walls, play with our children, etc. etc.  But if we could ensure that those who serve us and our needs – either paid or unpaid – also enjoyed being served occasionally, the world would be a happier, healthier place.

Human beings are called to support people living in difficult places.  Who lives in a difficult place in your town or city?  Maybe . . .

  • Places where it’s hard to find food.
  • Places where it’s  hard to get comfortable.
  • Places where it’s hard to protect yourself.
  • Places where it’s hard not to feel cranky/anxious/envious of people living in abundance, comfort, and safety.

We live in a profoundly divided world where rich and poor, rural and urban, conservative and liberal barely connect with each other.  But can we all agree that we have a human responsibility to feed, comfort, and protect each other – regardless of where we live and who we are?

Imagine getting used to that.

Image from the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich, Massachusetts

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