If He came back today what would He see? People talking on cell phones instead of to each other? As they mindlessly sidestep the homeless on the downtown sidewalks: Cannot afford to be late for that next big job interview.
Security guards would kick Him out of stores for looking too down and out. And after He started
talking about helping instead of judging the poor, (as God would have us do),
He'd be carted off to the nearest psych ward, and given massive amounts
of shock treatments and drugs for the psychotic ones.
He'd be considered no different from those that insanely think they are Beethoven
or Hitler or Marilyn Monroe. Christ might return only to be tossed
in jail or the state asylum: That's how jaded we've become. Enlightenment?
I do it at the end of every month. And I no longer feel dirty when I finally make it home again:
Cashing in a month's worth of empty pop bottles. I drag two huge sacks to the store--in the funny little granny cart a friend bought me for my birthday
last year. It's only a four block walk, but I get odd looks from at least a dozen people before I get
there. They think I must be homeless or insane. And look at me like I'm little better than dirt.
I used to stare right back. To let them know I could see the filth they tried to hide within. But it all got to be a bit much, and I taught myself to become immune to it.
They might have fancy new cars, and own big houses with more rooms than they will ever be able to use. And their clothes are so clean and expensive: People respect them for what they own, not for what they truly are.
But I am something better: a much published poet. Editors call me for more poems about my five cent life.
So I return my empty bottles at the end of every month, and suffer the glares gladly. Money does not make you rich or good. It is so easily wasted or lost. But a good
poem remains in the world, long after the poet is gone: while the wealthy ones that imagine I am nothing but dirt--will be buried and forgotten soon enough--with only an enormous tombstone to prove to the world they were ever filthy rich, and half alive.