72: Prophecy

The words of Jim, who was among those who lived on the streets near University Avenue in Palo Alto, which he saw concerning his fellow man in the days after the renovation of the Stanford movie theater, as in the days before the renovation, and as in the days after. I see people coming and going; I see throngs enter the theater and leave the theater, but few among these people care to give Jim the time of day. Life is rough, but the roughness is inside people where you do not see it. If you have two good ears you’d better listen. This street is more like Disneyland every year, but people aren’t getting any better. People are more and more bewildered when they leave the theater. I can see it in their eyes. The violence on the screen is easy for anyone to notice, but the violence out here isn’t obvious, isn’t wrapped up by an ending. People can’t handle it as well as Hollywood directors. Thus says the Lord: I who am who I am roar from heaven, but I am as little noticed as the pain in the hearts of people who live in the streets or as sympathy in the hearts of people who don’t yet have everything. I have said for you to treat others as you would have yourselves be treated, but you put yourselves in different categories and think you can escape comparisons, so I say. Certain truths apply to everyone. Avert your eyes and show your pride, but you demean yourselves when you disrespect those whom you avoid. Raise your hand in anger and your heart will pound, but people will wonder why you are angry. Raise your hand in self-defense when the threat comes from a person whose main offence is stinking of urine, and your blood will pound but you thus betray your own debility, so I say. Fresh from the theater, your spirit soars with the meaning of actors, but what makes you so blind to the meaning of those around you? Your disrespect for others demeans you. Or in the gutter, wet in the rain from the knees down, what makes you think your pain means the world owes you a living? Your pride and your anger, not what others do, demeans you. I dismay the beautiful who think their good fortune is due to their own efforts only. I dismay the miserable, who think they have suffered enough, but do not yet respect my wishes. So let’s not be so sure hard times won’t come again. Thus I declare, I who am who I am! Stiff-necked, hard of heart, you people are as stones that gather moss beside the waters, or grind and tumble in the flow. You do not understand the forces that keep you where you are or that wash you down the stream. Yet the days are coming, and in those days we shall see, not just a renovation of the theaters, or of the homes, or of the streets, but a renovation of the souls of people. Thus says the Lord, and thus he will perform.

Paintbrush (pointing left)