Yesterday, Diane and I did the communion thoughts and prayers at Highland. What a blessing to share that together. Knowing that she was going to be reading Hebrews 5:7-10, I was struck by this verse from "I Stand Amazed" earlier in the service: For me it was in the garden He prayed, "Not my will, but Thine," He had no tears for his own griefs, But sweatdrops of blood for mine. No tears for his own griefs? Certainly Jesus shed plenty of tears for the sorrows of others, but he was fully human. I'm guessing that the one who "offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death" did shed a few tears for his own grief. Does that somehow diminish his God-ness? - - - - I read the headline with the huge, bold font in this morning's sports page: AGELESS ACE. It's about how Andre Agassi, old codger that he is, can still whip some of the younger players. So just how old is Agassi? 35. That's thirty-five. In other words, this "ageless" wonder was entering kindergarten about the time I was starting out at Harding. - - - - I am upset. At myself. As I watched all those evacuees from inner-city New Orleans, I realized I had never seen them. I've seen Nola's. And Galatoire's. And Ralph & Kakoo's. And the Cafe du Monde. And Preservation Hall. And the Imax. And the Aquarium. But I somehow have managed in all those trips to avoid seeing the 28% of that great city who live below the poverty line. My friend Larry James says that almost all American cities are the same way. The difference is that the people never get flushed out. So we just don't see them. We stay in our malls, theaters, restaurants, and stadiums in the better parts of town. And we complain about our taxes and about the sharing of funds for poorer school districts. But right now I'm not mad at the American people or the American government. Of course, we'll have to face questions of how we've permitted this to exist. We'll have to get rid of our stereotypes of why people are poor as if it was always a choice. (We can always live with it better if moral accusation is involved.) I'm mad at me. All those trips to New Orleans and I didn't see these people who matter as much to God as my own sons. I've been reading Luke 16:19-31 this past week, preparing to teach the university class at Highland. And I didn't like what I saw. Because it's hard to find what the rich man's sin is. He didn't hit Lazarus, didn't kick him out; didn't hurl insults at him. He just ignored him. Lazarus wasn't even a blip on his radar screen. There's something unique about this parable of Jesus: a person is named! I wonder if it's because Jesus wanted us to know that--in the world of the story--Lazarus is a person. He has a name. God knows him and cares deeply about him. O, dear Lord, please open my eyes to see Lazarus. Because I'm privileged, he's hard to find. I know how to steer around him. But let me see!