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The Wisdom of a Peeping Tom

On Sundays, sometimes we invite people over for a leisurely lunch. We get out the “real” china, cloth napkins and sit at the dining room table. My husband has befriended a woman who is homeless and he invited her over one Sunday for grilled vegetables. She brought a Hershey bar for dessert. During our lunch, she had moments of brilliance and other stretches of confused rambling. At one point she stopped and said that on the previous night that she had a dream of a peeping tom. When we asked for additional details she said: “It was Thomas Jefferson.” Then she told us that he was looking at the pictures she keeps with her at all times and he saw the one of the Constitution in her stack. He told her that we need to amend the Constitution to include all people—not just wealthy white men. We all laughed at her peeping tom. However, later I reflected on her expansive imagination—one in which TJ visited her with some wise counsel. She possesses few things in life yet expressed an ability to imagine inclusiveness. As I listened to her, I wondered about my own capacity—if homeless—to embark on a conversation about the philosophy of our founding fathers and the need for an updated Constitution. Her creativity and heart touched me. When we are in need, can we imagine another way—even one that embraces a peeping tom?

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