I saw Christ today.

Eighteen women and men

filling out applications

to discover a place to call home.

A place of privacy,

of protection from the weather

and of violence in the street.

As I gazed at these seekers,

I thought of Thomas Merton,

who one day in Louisville,

at the corner of Fourth and Walnut,

looked around at those on the street

and was moved to say,

“I loved all those people.”

In a similar way

today at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland,

I looked around the room

at the urban refugees

working on their applications

and felt like Merton many year ago.

I loved everybody.


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