In 1976, we were attending a small country church in southern California. The pastor there was a good man who cared greatly about his small congregation. In one sermon he stated that it would be important for those of us in the middle to speak up before the extremists on both ends of the political continuum gain too much power. It seems to us that is exactly what is happening now in our country. We hope that many Americans do not die from the “Cold Within” as was so eloquently written by Timothy Kinney.

“Six humans trapped by happenstance

In bleak and bitter cold.

Each one possessed a stick of wood

Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs

The first man held his back

For the faces round the fire

He noticed one was black.

The next man looking ‘cross the way

Saw one not of his church

And couldn’t bring himself to give

The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes.

He gave his coat a hitch.

Why should his log be put to use

To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought

Of the wealth he had in store

And how to keep what he had earned

From the lazy shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge

As the fire passed from his sight.

For all he saw in his stick of wood

Was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group

Did nought except for gain.

Giving only to those who gave

Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death’s still hands

Was proof of human sin.

They didn’t die from the cold without

They died from the cold within.”

Terry and Pamela Weatherby