5,000

 

During World War II, starting in the winter of 1940-41, in and around the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered…by 5,000 Christians.

The Protestant Huguenot villagers, mostly poverty-stricken themselves, protected the Jews at the risk of their own lives. Every home took in Jews, fed and protected them, right under the noses of the Gestapo. They were often hidden in the countryside when the authorities came to investigate. For four years they defied the Nazi régime and a French government that was collaborating with the Nazis. The citizens of Le Chambon sheltered these strangers, educated their children, and arranged for hundreds to flee to Switzerland or Spain via an intricate, wooded, underground escape route.

True to their beliefs, some citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon penned a letter to the Nazi-influenced Vichy government, feeling spiritually obligated to admit that they were indeed sheltering Jewish refugees. They were clearly defiant in their determination to protect them – “We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews…whose only fault is to be born in another religion…We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

No resident of Le Chambon, it is believed, ever turned away or betrayed a single Jewish refugee.

            “I do not know what a Jew is.  I know only human beings.”
André Trocmé, the Huguenot pastor of Le Chambon


5,000
They were welcomed.

Given shelter and refuge,
without hesitation,
on the edge of violence.
Protected, without question.
Given food and a future,
at the risk of everything,
in open defiance.

One life saved
For every hero
From a man
From a horrific plan
From a power
Aiming for zero

Five thousand.
Spared a hateful demise
Five thousand.
Strong and assured
Five thousand.
Sharing one single purpose
Five thousand…
And no one said a word


Hiding strangers.
Sharing what little they had,
without hesitation,
for a number of years.
A beacon of hope.
Sharing an indomitable spirit,
without reservation,
and despite their fears.

Committed, as one
For simple humanity
To do what’s right
To the preservation of life 
To an immaculate deception
In the face of the enemy

Five thousand.
Hidden amongst them
Five thousand.
Conviction, silently heard
Five thousand.
Sharing one selfless will
Five thousand…
And no one said a word

                                               Gary Greentree


Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice…for they will be satisfied.”
-André Trocmé

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Minimal

Middletown

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 Minimal


Sometimes people simply give up

Stop living and just get by
They settle for the status quo
No effort is easy, so why try?
It doesn’t make you a bad person
We all have the right to choose
Just seems like such a waste
Nothing to gain, nothing to lose

No need to climb any higher
No risks, nowhere to fall
Travelling along at your own speed
A sluggish pace at a slow crawl.
Doing the bare minimum…
And that’s all

You’ve decided that a job is a job
It’s apathy that keeps you sane
Gainfully employed yes, maybe
But it’s no pain, and no gain
Feeling ordinary is acceptable
Being unexceptional is quite okay
An average life in Middletown
Ho hum, just another day

Merely going through the motions
Stopped trying, in a perpetual stall
No extra effort required
No ambition or greater call.
Doing just the bare minimum…
And that’s all

The problem lies within your responsibility
You need to show that you can rise above
This bad example that you are imparting
It’s your obligation, to those you love
Alter the image that you are projecting
Change the shape of your situation
Breathe some life into mundane existence
With a contagious attitude, with your aspiration

Get out from behind your mediocrity
Show some strength in who you are
Take your inclination to the next level
Raise the stakes, by raising the bar
Take the approach that more is more
Get the most out of your average day
Choose a road that takes you further
Where there’s your will, there is a way

 There are no dead-end streets
New horizons, beyond every wall
Venture outside of your comfort zone
You need to be in it for the long haul.

 No excuse for the bare minimum…
You should want it all.

Road

 

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