What comes to your mind when you think of poverty?
What type of picture is painted?
Is it some sappy tv commercial that tells you how just 50 cents a day can change a life?
More importantly, what do you imagine when you’re asked to fight poverty?
The truth is poverty is an abstract idea that really gives us no insight into how to fight it.
How do you fight an idea?
With more ideas?
Do ideas do anything tangible for anyone who lives in poverty?
We raise awareness by walking, we raise money and get together to talk about these issues and we honestly think we are making a difference.
Because I know if I was living hand to mouth the first suggestion I would make in order to fix my problem would be for a whole bunch of people to get tg ether and talk about it.
The fact is, poverty comes in all shapes in sizes.
Poverty literally means “shortage”
It doesn’t always mean having no food, or no money or no home.
No food, no clothes, no job, no money, no home are all results from much deeper issues.
We give our money to some charity and feel justified that we are doing our part to help the cause.
The fact is, we have something much more valuable than money that we can offer to the poor.
It’s our time.
We “fight poverty” by literally
Aiding the poor.
We take time out of our precious day and literally tend to their needs.
We can volunteer at the soup kitchen, or a half way house, or a homeless shelter.
Get to know the people that are there, because they are….people.
Aidn g the poor is much more personal than fighting poverty. It means to literally get off your couch and do something about it.
I have spent time with “poverty”. From leading worship in the soup kitchen in my already poor town residing in North Eastern Connecticut, to the hills right outside San Lucas, Guatemala.
Trust me, money isn’t the issue. The lack of money is the result of much deeper problems. From corrupt government, to mental illness, to drug addiction I’ve seen what causes poverty.
In my town, there is a homeless man who walks the streets who literally has more money than most middle class families. Yet he’s so bankrupt in his mind, he can’t even comprehend the idea of building a socially acceptable life.
These people don’t need money, chances are your money would be better spent getting them something to eat, or a pair of shoes to be honest.
What these people need.
Is your compassion.
The need hope. They need love. They need a glimpse of light. They need patience. They need someone to invest in who they are.
They need you.
Jesus said, “the poor you will always have among you, and you can help them whenever you want”
He said this to his disciples after a young woman had just poured an extremely expensive oil on Jesus.
The oil was worth a years worth of wages….think about that for a minute.
What could you buy with a years worth of your wages?
The disciples rebuked the young lady, saying they could have sold it and gave the money to the poor, but as we just read Jesus didn’t see eye to eye with them concerning the poor.
The poor will always be among us. It’s just something we must accept. Not everyone grows up with a sound mind, good parents, great adulation, and favorable circumstances.
Let’s change our attitude from a negative phrase of “fighting poverty” to a positive action “Aidingbthe poor”.
Pay homage to the homeless