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November 12, 2007

Bible Study: A Week of Living Biblically

Could you give up gossip, designer clothes, and makeup for a week to be a better person? Cleo Glyde gives it a try.

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"Fuck you," rants a homeless guy at passersby. "Have a couple of bucks and be well," I hear myself saying, heeding Deuteronomy 15:11 ("Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor"). I'm on a roll. All week I have given away money, and it feels amazing. The hard truth of city living is, it's easy to tune out the misery of street people. But with the biblical principle of charity, the indifference has to crack. I feel forced to fork over, to connect with strangers, and imagine their backstory instead of walking on by. I can afford to pass up Must Love Dogs on pay-per-view and the ritual Luna bar for a day.

By week's end I do have a "road to Damascus" change of heart: I am determined to remember the Bible's big, sweeping humanist laws. Yes, I lapsed hourly, but I was inspired by the effort not to. When everything you do and say is part of a grand plan, you are humming with a sense of purpose — that's the payoff for all the lifestyle sacrifices. And yet, zipping up my Calvin Klein dress in inky black and snapping on clanking, faux-Deco Lia Sophia cuffs, I'm also relieved to be back in the pleasure dome. Here's to walking the path of righteousness in six-inch heels.

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