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Glory and the Grave

June 5, 2016

“Abandoned House and Street Sweeper in North Philadelphia,” Author Dick Swanson for EPA, Source National Archives and Records Administration, College Park (Identifier 552748).

“Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love…
We’re all from different places
Different shades
Different faces
A bell filled up with different nations
Dependent on Independence Declaration
Yo, we made it
But we know glory and the grave…
Proclaim justice throughout the land
To all the inhabitants
We were supposed to lavish it
But like all God’s gifts
Sins caused mismanagement
It’s a fallen world
And a hurting city
A broken frail system
Only those that have hope
Can give help to the stricken”

–        A Community of Grace, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia,

The Democratic Party will be holding its Presidential Convention in Philadelphia this year.  Undoubtedly, the delegates will be treated to the City of Brotherly Love’s many tourist attractions and historic sites.  Whether they take in more remains to be seen.

As those of you who read this blog regularly know, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia (CLCP) has a ministry to the forgotten men, women, and children who make up the urban poor.  Staffed by volunteer attorneys, CLCP has grown to 10 clinic locations – a size that astounds those of us present at its humble beginnings.  Yet the workload continues to increase.

Poverty law combines domestic relations with property, employment, criminal, and administrative law.  Landlord tenant disputes, domestic abuse situations, and child custody cases are common.  Heaped on these is the tangled red tape of Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP (“food stamps”), Welfare, and Unemployment Compensation.

At times, the problems facing the poor are intractable, a result of years – even generations – of difficulty and neglect.  For the poor, this can feel like living in the grave.

Often solving the legal aspect of such problems barely scratches the surface.  Only the Lord can heal hearts, which is why the opportunity to pray with clients can be immensely moving.

The poor will still be in Philadelphia long after the Convention has ended.  Let us pray that the Democratic Party remembers that fact, once the hoopla is over.

But as for me, God will redeem my life.  He will snatch me from the power of the grave” (Ps. 49: 15).


  1. Very touching reminder.

  2. A wonderful post.

  3. God bless you, Anna (and all the volunteer lawyers),
    in the important work you’re doing to help the vulnerable! 🙂 ♥ ❤

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