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News Musings

[Links and outtakes from news reports, with the thoughts they inspired]

Homeless Woman set on fire in LA as she sleeps on bench


For more than 10 years, the homeless woman slept on the same plastic bus stop bench at a busy intersection in the San Fernando Valley, no matter how cold it was or if it was raining.  The 67 year old woman, described by one church volunteer who saw her regularly as the “sweetest lady on the street,” was nestled in her regular spot early Thursday when the unthinkable happened: A man came out of a nearby drug store, doused her with a flammable liquid and set her ablaze.


On the day that he was born

The infant Jesus had a spirit informed

By all that he would survey from the Cross-

That place of God-perfected human knowing from whence he would endure

Every moment of the suffering

Of all the hearts,

In all the people,

Through all the moments

Of all the worlds,

In every universe of God’s creation.

This was the knowledge that he brought

To each encounter-

He saw the child in the careworn man;

And in the care-free child the man

Bowed down with sad, regretful memories,

Dust to dust.

He saw the woman at the well.

He knew the dry depths of unrequited love

She drew upon,

Hoping to quench her spirit’s thirst

By streams of passion flowing

Through a wasteland of adulteries,

That left behind no trace

Of satisfaction.

He saw the hearth-less one,

Herself contained within

A vessel that the wizened wisdom

Of the world despised,

Seeming exposed and cold.

One bench, suspended, was her castle seat;

Whereon she dwelt in cryptic, sweet communion,

Weaving warm tapestries of life-sustaining pride,

Woven of scenes that she alone remembered,

she and her Immanuel.

Until, unbidden, out of some place of evil

Poured a stream of flammable hate,

Which the dark fire of evil set to burn,

Reducing the inward hearth of her communion

To a ruin of loveless darkness.

Why hell thus pours its fury on a woman scorned, God knows,

From one he sent into its heart of evil.

So that, when nameless evil sets alight

The last resort of homeless human pride,

He is the first respondent on the scene

Restoring life, as He is life restored, to all

However humbled,

Who choose to know Him.

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