In his starched black shirt and crispy clean clerical collar, the young Priest sat before a large group of unemployed men and women. It was his task to offer the morning meditation, to offer a word of inspiration and hope, but, trained in the tradition of his denomination, he stayed close to the script and offered Morning Prayer. The air in the room remained stale.

 

The alcoholic stood to speak at the meeting. It was his task to offer his experience strength and hope to the others. Summoning all the rhetorical skills taught to him in college, he delivered a speech. Polished and tight, the performance ended and the people left entertained, but empty.

 

Clinging to their Styrofoam cups, the two men met after worship. One had recently lost his job and was working hard to find a way to provide for his family. The other was in a troubled marriage and his son was recently caught drinking under age.  “How’s it going,” one said to the other. “Oh fine,” was the reply.

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