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I was in a waiting room earlier this week, so I picked up a copy of Elle to pass the time. There were photos, with prices,  of  what’s going to be in style, from fashion week in New York. A pair of pants for $600. A purse for a thousand bucks. A dress for $2 grand. I’m rounding–at those prices, what do a few dollars matter?

Then I went back to work, where I encountered a woman with an electric bill, out of work and desperately looking for some help to pay it. It was not yet a shut-off notice, so unfortunately no help was available anywhere in town. I know there’s no direct relationship between her situation and expensive clothes in a magazine, but the juxtaposition was stark.

We live in a world where on television an Iron Chef makes lobster ice cream. For supper last night I baked a mixture of leftover brown rice, some eggs, milk, cheese, a can of green chiles, olive oil and seasonings, and had a luscious souffle-like something or other.

I wonder how many families are going without even some of those basic ingredients, or can’t cook because they can’t pay their electric bill?

Years ago in my church youth group we sang a song that became ingrained in me, and it’s coming back to me as I write this. It’s called “No Man Is an Island” and based on writings of John Donne. 

“No man is an island. No man stands alone. Each man’s joy is joy to me, each man’s grief is my own. We need one another–so I will defend each man as my brother, each man as my friend.”

We’re all connected. Both the rich and poor have joys and griefs. God, help us remember that. Help us remember each other.

“He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” — Micah 6:8

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