In God We Trust

Spring bloom in the desert So here’s the parable (Luke 18:1-8).

The setting is a village courthouse.  It’s a place where people go to get justice, to be treated fairly, to find a sense of equity.

Down at the courthouse there is a poor woman, a widow, who is not being treated fairly by an adversary.  We do not know here actual complaint, it doesn’t matter.  What we do know is that she is in a miserable state:  helpless, hopeless, miserable, depressed, oppressed

There is also a judge down at the courthouse.  We might expect that.  You expect to find a judge at the courthouse.  You also might expect such a judge to be kind and considerate, but that’s not the case in Jesus’ story.  This guy is a scoundrel.   He is called “unjust” and is said to have no fear of God and no concern for others.

The poor woman has pled her case, but has not received justice.  So what’s she do?  She just keeps bothering the guy.

He comes outside in the get his newspaper in the morning and there she is, carrying her placard.  What does she want? JUSTICE.  When does she want it?  NOW.

“What’s next on the docket?” the judge asks his bailiff.   “It’s Rachael, that old woman whose been here pleading her case daily for the last several months.

He goes to the hotdog stand outside the courthouse (kosher, of course) to get a bite for lunch, and there she is.  Pleading her case once more.

The judge finally relents and gives the woman the justice she’s been demanding, not because he cares one iota about her well-being, but because he just wants her to leave him alone.

Now if we think the lesson here is that we have to pester God to answer our prayers, we are totally missing the point.

God is in no way like the unjust judge.  In fact, the God that Jesus called Papa God is better.  God can be trusted.


In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash
by: Jean Shepherd
publisher: Broadway Books, published: 1991-05-28
ASIN: 0385021747
EAN: 9780385021746
sales rank: 34847
price: $7.82 (new), $0.01 (used)

A beloved, bestselling classic of humorous and nostalgic Americana, reissued in a strikingly designed paperback edition.

Before Garrison Keillor and Spalding Gray there was Jean Shepherd: a master monologist and writer who spun the materials of his all-American childhood into immensely resonant–and utterly hilarious–works of comic art. In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash represents one of the peaks of his achievement, a compound of irony, affection, and perfect detail that speaks across generations.

In God We Trust, Shepherd’s wildly witty reunion with his Indiana hometown, disproves the adage “You can never go back.” Bending the ear of Flick, his childhood-buddy-turned-bartender, Shepherd recalls passionately his genuine Red Ryder BB gun, confesses adolescent failure in the arms of Junie Jo Prewitt, and relives a story of man against fish that not even Hemingway could rival. From pop art to the World’s Fair, Shepherd’s subjects speak with a universal irony and are deeply and unabashedly grounded in American Midwestern life, together rendering a wonderfully nostalgic impression of a more innocent era when life was good, fun was clean, and station wagons roamed the earth.

A comic genius who bridged the gap between James Thurber and David Sedaris, Shepherd may have accomplished for Holden, Indiana, what Mark Twain did for Hannibal, Missouri.



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