"if therefore thine eye be single"

Yesterday we went to a nearby church and Luke, Sara, and their kids and us were the only white folks there. Good music. "This church is noisy!," little Virginia warned as we arrived. There wasn't communion, so we celebrated back at the house later, with French bread fresh from the oven. Luke made a campfire after the kids were in bed, and we sat around and talked until midnight.

Today, we helped a neighbor clear and burn brush for most of the day. Then enjoyed chili and warm cornbread that Sara made from scratch, even grinding her own meal from corn and wheat. And later there were homemade cookies (oatmeal raisin, with peanut butter—great).

I also met another neighbor who offered his "testimony." Pretty gripping, actually, about being attacked and losing an eye (he tapped the glass eyeball for emphasis). In the hospital he was led to Matthew 6.22-33, which he recited for me very dramatically—and very effectively in his deep Carolina drawl—from the King James version:

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised when I recognized him reciting the passage that has been so important to me, especially out on the road.