Lepers and blood, sinners and women,

Peripheries of boundless outcasts.

The poor, the marginalized, the dead;

The blessed keepers of Kingdom keys.


Preferential is the word of the day,

Blessed into life, preferred?

Perhaps…probably, anyway,

Pious publicans versus pathetic Pharisees.


Perhaps preferential is too strong a word,

For it seems God runs to all brothers,

Both older and younger,

Sheep and coins.


And while the wilderness calls

The shepherd’s keening,

Injustice wrangles

The woman into fevered searching.


God does not prefer sheep

To coins, wayward sons

To older snobbery. God prefers

More, and more, and more!


So if the problem is not God,

And preference and treatment

Are creaturely creations,

Why do the poor always get in?


Perhaps it is simply this:

Keys are handed to those who knock.

Answers are whispered to those who long.

And kingdoms are found to those who search.


Sinners know they are sinners,

Nothing to hide.

Grace crashes through mercilessly,

Swallowing the poor in new creations.


But the non-poor politely applaud,

Or with dignified shock look away.

Perhaps preferential treatment for

The poor is more like simple acceptance.