In The Mirror

From the Book Of Matthew, The Holy Bible, New International Version, Chapter 7,Verses 1 through 5.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

He stood there,
Looking in the mirror.
That morning in church,
The Pastor had spoken
About those words.
And standing there,
In his own home,
Looking at himself
In the mirror.
He kept hearing those words.
Repeating
Over, and over.

Each time those words
Echoed in his mind,
He heard things he’d said.
When he’d spoken his mind.

“My gas bill for my truck
Has grown to be absurd.
It’s hurting me.
And my family.
It’s all Obama’s fault!
And that’s the truth!
We need a president
That can keep the price of gas
Where it ought to be.
$1.00 a gallon!
Time to vote him out!”

The words that Jesus spoke
In the book of Matthew
Echoed in his mind again.
While he looked into his eyes.
As they looked back at him.

“It’s not Obama’s fault,
Is it..
Not his fault at all.
It wouldn’t matter
Who is president.
I’d want to blame him.
Or her, these days.”

“It’s time that I admitted
That I’m as much to blame
As anyone.
After all.
I’m the one that bought
That great big truck.
That I almost never use
For the purpose it was meant.”

“I never haul anything
In my truck.
Except may four times a year.
If even that.”

“It’s not Obama’s fault
That I get 12 MPG.
Not the fault of anyone
In congress either.
No.
This time
The fault lies with me.”

He looked into the mirror
Once again.
And he heard his own voice
Ringing in his head.

“Drill!
Damn-it!
We’ve got plenty of oil
Right off the coast!
Fuck this environmental shit!
Drill, damn-it! Drill!”

And as his voice
Echoed in his head,
He heard the words
That Jesus had said
Once more.

“Even if they did,
It wouldn’t change a thing,
Would it.
The best that could happen
Is we’d manage to
Increase the supply of oil
For a little while.
And no one knows for sure
If drilling off the coast
Would make a difference at all
In how much gas costs.”

He sighed,
And looked into his own eyes
Once more.

“The truth is
Oil’s a finite resource.
And as our economy grows,
Along with China’s,
And India’s,
And South America’s
And Africa’s
And the whole
Rest of the world.
We’re using more oil
Almost every day.
Than we ever have before.”

“It’s the law
Of supply and demand.
If demand goes up,
And supply does not,
The price has no where to go.
But up.”

He thought about
A lot of things.
Like how much teachers
In the schools
Get paid.

And how much
He used the roads
He drove on
Every day.

And how many services
He took for granted.
Like the trash pick up
One day a week
That he didn’t pay for.
It was free.

The list of things
He thought about
Went on,
And on,
And on.

And with each thing
He thought about
He heard the words
That Jesus had said
Once more.

“It takes money,
Doesn’t it,
To have smooth roads.
And clean roads.
And wide roads.
That can handle
All the cars
That drive on them.”

“And money
Just to keep the roads
Usable.”

And there was his voice,
Ringing in his head
Once more.
“No new taxes!
No increase in the sales tax!
No tolls on any roads
Or tunnels!
Keep your grubby hands
Out of my wallet,
You slimes!”

He would have sworn
That he heard the image
Of himself
That was in the mirror
Looking back at him
Say these words.

“When you can look into
Your own eyes
In the mirror.
And know it’s not your fault.
Then you have the right
To blame someone.
And until then.

Shut the fuck up.”

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