So it went for years:  Every summertime when school was out, almost every day, the little girl ran down the hill to see my wife.  She taught the child how to bake and sweep a floor, showed her how to say grace before a meal, encouraged her to read and work hard at school, gave her snacks when she helped with the chores, and sat in the wicker chair and talked with her.

“I wish our family could be together,” the girl remarked one day.  “I don’t even know how many half-brothers and half-sisters I have.  They’re all in different places.  I wish things could be different.”

My wife explained that they can be.

I observed all this in a kind of awe, as of things beyond me.  That is what poverty is; in our country, it has very little to do with disposable income.  And that, I think, is what it means to flow with charity.