I am once again reading Brian J. Walsh and Steven Bouma-Prediger.* They speak of this culture of empire which tries to sell us the dream that “economic growth and abundance is a never-ending dynamic of a capitalist society.” But the resources of the planet do have a finite limit and never-ending economic growth is not a reality. As this fact slowly sinks into the minds of a post-modern world we may be slowly realizing, as Bruce Cockburn described it twenty-nine years ago, that the candy man is gone.

The Candy Man’s Gone

Sun climbs toward high noon,
Glints metallic off the bowl of the spoon
Sliding through the air toward parted lips
Watch the expression when the straight taste hits
Face crumples, tongue’s quickly withdrawn
I hate to tell you but the candy man’s gone

Oh sweet fantasia of the safe home
Where nobody has to scrape for honey at the bottom of the comb
Where every actor understands the scene
And nobody ever means to be mean
Catch it in a dream, catch it in a song
Seek it on the street, you find the candy man’s gone
I hate to tell you but the candy man’s gone

In the bar, in the senate, in the alley, in the study
Pimping dreams of riches for everybody
“Something for nothing, new lamps for old
And the streets will be platinum, never mind gold”
Well, hey, pass it on, pass it on,
Misplaced your faith and the candy man’s gone
I hate to tell you but the candy man’s gone

Bruce Cockburn, NYC, Boston 3/12/81

The remedy for this empire which refuses to see that the candy man’s gone lies in an “indwelling God and a sojourning community.” But, we will speak more of this later.

*Bouma-Prediger, Steven and Walsh, Brian J. Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008, p 108.

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