Turning tables

A small child walked up to his teacher’s desk to receive his school book for the year. He was given one that rewrote history, glossing over our past wrongs of slavery and racism, telling him the seas would not rise, that we were all equal and he need not question otherwise. 

A man with holes in his shoes walked up to the counter of a soup kitchen. The ladle was raised, poised to fill his bowl, but its contents were empty. Times are tough, the volunteer explained. He nodded in reply. 

A woman walked up to the reception desk at the hospital, her round belly a soft buffer between her and the forms she needed to fill out. How do you plan on paying, the receptionist asked and she slowly hung her head. 

Two men walked up to the clerk’s desk, hand in hand, wearing suits and smiles. No, I can’t do that, she replied. 

A young woman walked into a police station, to speak to an officer at the front desk. She told him what had happened through her tears. I didn’t want to, she said. He made me. Are you sure, the officer asked. Can you tell me what you were wearing?

An older couple walked to the teller’s desk and asked to make a small withdrawal. There’s nothing there, the teller replied apologetically. I’m so sorry. 

A family, shivering in a cold camp across the world, walked up to the make shift office – a card desk in a weather worn tent. You were denied, the aid worker said, choking on her own words. 

The small child, the homeless man, the woman round with hope, the couple in love, the woman in need, the family far from home, the man and woman who only wanted to buy groceries for dinner tonight turned and walked away. 

Today, we hold on to each other. Today, we watch the system swirl behind the desks and feel powerless to overcome it. Today, we mourn with those who mourn. 

Tomorrow, we start throwing over tables. 

John 2:13-22


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