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A Weekly Dose of Compressed Dignity

How a sermon gives worth to the soul

A Weekly Dose of Compressed DignitySee theme

I went to the home of a woman who attended the church I pastored. When I walked into the flat, her husband was asleep on a cot in the living room, a gaunt shell of a man, his substance sucked out by whiskey. His skin was yellow. When he awoke and we met, his voice was rumbly and harsh from smoking, and frighteningly loud. His eyes had something hateful about them that made my blood run cold.

This was the demanding, abusive man whom the woman in our church tried to placate day by day. She had told me chilling stories about him.

They lived on welfare, and their house had poverty written all over it. In the dirt "yard" sat an abandoned tire. The kitchen floor sloped steeply, and the gloomy walls needed paint. In the living room, the fabric on the arms of the chairs was worn through, a chair or two tilted due to a missing leg, the cushions gave no support. Mousetraps were everywhere. Dimly lighting the place were bulbs that could not have added more than 40 watts apiece.

But each week ...

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