Where my friend Jack used to work before the flood. The flood that destroyed. Oh. Most of our downtown here. Late last spring. Fifteen thousand put out of their homes. Their homes destroyed. People who could least afford to lose their homes and most of their worldly goods. Hundreds of businesses closed, many forever. Billions in value wiped out in a few days. The flood submerging. Burying. Drowning. Value that took tens of thousands of people decades to create. Canceled in a few days.
The Tower. Where my friend Jack used to work as a janitor. A federally subsidized apartment building where the destitute the old the addicted the lame the blind the diseased and the broken made their home. Where my friend Jack’s friend worked as a janitor also until he died, and it turned out he’d. Oh. Man! The guy rented a room all his life. Never married. Rented a room. In someone else’s house. Saved. Invested. And when he died, he left equities valued then. This was in 2007. At three million dollars. Three million dollars!
Imagine what one could do with three million dollars. How many people one could save. Could rescue from starvation. Disease. Death. In say a country like. Oh. Ethiopia, for example. Three million dollars! A lifetime’s wages minus costs. Minimal costs. The necessary costs. Saved all for God. Gave it to the church. His particular church. To do with as it wished. Their responsibility now. What saving they think best to do with it. With the man’s life savings and investings. The man’s worldly goods. Worldly gettings.
And so what does this mean? It means quite plainly that we can all be an Oskar Schindler. We can all be a George Bailey. We can all save hundreds. Thousands. We can all leave a saving legacy, should we choose to. We all make at the least what a janitor makes—anyone reading this. Have at least a janitor’s capacity to save. An ordinary janitor’s capacity to bring salvation to the world.
The Tower. Home of the poor. The oppressed. The diseased. Generator of wealth! Saving wealth. Redeeming value. For the peoples of the world. The dusty, dirty, diseased of the world.
How extraordinary. How apposite! Poverty generative of wealth. Wealth inherent in service to the poor. A treasure. A literal treasure. Lying everywhere around us here. Everywhere we look. Everywhere we may lay our hands. Here in this field. This field we have inherited. This America!