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A View from the Portico  

As I write this, the nation’s third largest city is under siege.  Or, perhaps more accurately, under sieve.  To use the adjective, “rainy” is to describe the sun as merely warm.

Schools are closed. Streets are clogged.  And announcers on radio and television beg us to “Please stay home!”  But crises large and small have a way of yielding defining snapshots.  I saw one the other day.

As gallon-sized drops of rain blasted the army of downtown commuters, we besieged soldiers bolted the last steps of our maneuvers toward the train station portico. Safely under the cover of stone and cement, our soggy platoon holstered weapons of defense—umbrellas dripping impressive rivers of their own.

Only then did I notice our ranks had been infiltrated.  The peddlers and beggars who normally position themselves on high-traffic corners just outside the station had come inside the station.

The guy with the cardboard sign asking for help to—quote—“keep my place”…he was there.  Then I saw the young blind man who jangles his cup on the corner.  The familiar cast of panhandlers was all present and accounted for.

The scene was mildly humorous and profoundly telling.  Here were bankers and lawyers and high flying business folks of every stripe with hair and clothes as matted and soggy as…the homeless people who shared their space.

For the briefest of moments, the labels and assumptions and baggage were stripped away.    There under that merciful portico, we were all just survivors.  Human beings equally wet—and more equal than the proudest of us cared to know.  What a picture of our moral standing before God:

For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

There is NO one righteous…not even one.

Yet there it stands: the portico of God’s grace—shielding, protecting and—best of all--open to beggars of every kind: the earthly poor, as well as rich folks who know just how impoverished they really are…apart from Christ.


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016