Who is the poorest person you will meet today?

Written in honor of Dale Robb*.

Who is the poorest person you will meet today?

The senior or teenager who will hand you food

at the drive-through window?  Or tonight when you stay

in a motel, could you leave cash to make the maid

feel good for days?  A tip, gratuity, can let

a worker keep their dignity and pay a bill

as well.  (A teller in a bank, however, can’t

accept a tip–give them fruit, a sweet, they can sell

or eat.)  All folks who earn minimum wage are poor:

be generous, be kind, and share if you have more.

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL June 18, 2012

*I asked Steve about Dale. Here’s what he wrote:

“Dale Robb is a retired Presbyterian Pastor. For 25 years he served the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Illinois. Was a Campus Pastor at Miami of Ohio, & Presbyterian missionary in Asia.  McCormick Theological Seminay Alum of the year in the 1980s, University of Illinois grad (1943),attended McKinley Presbyterian Church, student officer in McKinley Foundation.  Retired to Urbana, he & wife, Arlene, attend First Presbyterian Church of Champaign…..  Member of the Reformed Round Table.

“The first question in the verse comes from Dale.”

2 thoughts on “Who is the poorest person you will meet today?

  1. Dale and Arlene are two of the most real, most generous people I have the privilege of knowing. Dale is also a solid reformed theologian. and, as the Steve’s poem shows, he is
    the person who can ask the question to start anyone to think more deeply about the living than what we do normally.


    • Thank you, Jim. I’ve never met him so far as I know. It’s good to have another voice here that recognizes Dale’s contributions. It’s the questions that determine the conversation. We need to continue to ask what the questions are that most need to be asked. Questions about poverty are not popular right now, huh!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s