Experience Making a Difference

Experience Making a Difference

Lazarus at the Door

by | May 19, 2015

(For all those lost on the cold hard streets of the city)

Knocking at the steel door unable to rise from the prison of my wheel chair
I grimaced through teeth that had stained by years of indulgence and neglect

My yellowing eyes full of sorrow and distress were disturbing to look at as I
Begged for a clean pair of pants and shoes donated by those who have more

Banned from entering the store-my boisterous outbursts had offended too many-
Shunned by a society of feigned respectability: I reflected what it too could become

Once I had worked, hanging drywall, trying to make my mother proud
My father I never mentioned, a memory of what could not be said aloud

I mumbled about a God who could still love this wastrel child-of-the-street
A God I had abandoned long ago in the dark alleys of self-inflicted defeat

Captive of a past that cast a shadow on my soul: ears that have heard too much pain
Still hears the dirge of lost hope: a remorseful refrain of voices that drive me insane

My suspended stare sees a warm place where rags of regret are cast off and pants
Are no longer soiled with shame; where shoes shine bright in the sight of God’s gaze

A place where my vision will be clear, tormented no longer by dreams of despair;
Where clothed in the light of radiant love my soul will rest in God’s eternal care.



R.J. Moritz is a first year Ignatian Volunteer in St. Louis, MO.  “I have been on several retreats through the years the first one being shortly after my wife had passed away. It was the weekend before the infamous day of September 11, 2001. It was the beginning of my journey to try and find God in all things. Last summer I was on retreat at the White House Retreat Center on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River near St. Louis, MO. They always include an IVC brochure in the registration packet, this time I read it. I was trying to discern what to do and my spiritual reflector told me to just sit and watch the river flow by and see what happens. I am a retired salesman and thought that somehow I could put what talents I have to good use which is how I ended up at the Guardian Angel Settlement House thrift store. The clients who come into the store have opened my eyes to how shallow and judgmental I really can be at times; especially after the Ferguson riots which happened right after I started volunteering.   They helped me find God not only in them but in myself, especially the one client who was the inspiration for this poem.”