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Tuesday 21st December

Sally Mann

"He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands."

Luke 1:53-55 NLT

For the first time ever, I read these words identifying with those who are dismissed rather than filled. I thought about charity as a poor relation of justice and what it might mean to enter the Kenarchy of God Mary announces. And I wrote this:

I want to stuff bags at the foodbank for

Grateful strangers

At safe distances.


I want to hand out the good shit to a line at a shelter

Bestowing goodness

Like I have a ton of it to spare.


Don’t ask me to resist fast fashion

My preferred therapy

Which costs the earth.


I want to shop at Amazon

I need next day delivery

I don’t want to see the bottles of piss thrown out of the cabs of gig workers who can’t afford a break.

Hide the landfill, the sweatshops, the precariat.

Don’t disturb the illusion that no-one pays the price for all of this



Fill my hands.

I’ll let some trickle down.

Trust me

I’m charity.

I want a religion that tells me all this stuff is a blessing

Go away Mary.

I’m not listening to your strange blessing.

What possible good can come from empty hands?

Sally is a cockney with a PhD and a chip on her shoulder. She is a Baptist minister and a lecturer in sociology. She helped set up Red Letter Christians in the UK. She doesn’t get out much. She likes it that way.

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