When we think of doing our duty to help the poor, what usually comes to mind for me is something like giving food to a homeless man. Check. Done my part. Onward.
Or giving money to a charity. $25 to Houston relief. Check. Onward.
Or even starting a non-profit. If I had done that I would likely say, “Check. now I can do what I want with the rest of my life.”
Those are all sexy types of giving. Even if we keep them to ourselves, we still feel cool in the kingdom. Stuff we can hang our hat on. Proud entries on God’s ledger, and if anyone found out about it, it would look good to them as well.
I mean, I think all of that stuff IS good. But I think there’s another part we often neglect.
One that’s right in front of our faces.
We’ve been ingrained from childhood not to give to them.
The fat. the dumb. The ones with stains on their half-tucked in shirts but otherwise normal. Those who talk at the wrong time or say too much and say the awkward things- no diagnosable need that you can claim you’ve helped. Those who don’t have the awareness to fix their hair or wash their clothes or take the crumbs out of their wiry beards. Those sitting alone, and we can see why. The ones we identify as a sinking ship- stay away from that one. The people we see at church and turn our eyes because we don’t want to be stuck talking to them when someone popular comes by.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” We are supposed to love each other. How can I go and help the homeless out there if I do not even care for the lonely in here.
God help me love my own. The needy in our midst. Give us patience and grace to see you in them, and feel your love for them. Help us, Lord.
Raw Spoon, 11-2-17