Do you care for the poor and disenfranchised?
I thought I did.
I’m the one who seems to notice the person who is on the edges of a group.
The one who doesn’t quite fit in.
Who can’t find her way.
I’ve been there.
I know how it feels.
I’m brassy enough to ask for help.
But not everyone is.
But as I listened to Sarah* on Wednesday night,
I realized I am not often with the economically poor or disenfranchised very often.
I am with people who have many struggles and painful problems. STOP
But they may not technically be considered to be poor.
Of course, the definition of poor is also stood on its head a bit.
It is not simply defined in terms of dollars and cents.
Poverty comes in many ways.
There is poverty of being, community, stewardship and/or spiritual intimacy.**
Because we each suffer from poverty in some area of life,
We don’t need to be patronizing when we come to help those who are suffering from
Economic poverty that has affected their community for years.
Because we realize that our own poverty needs to be dealt with just as theirs does.
As we come together and walk alongside each other to deal with the problems
In the community, we can have the grace to listen.
To hear the strengths of their community.
To listen for where GOD has already been present.
To watch for the leaders who are already functioning there.
Then we can work together to see what GOD can do as we work together…
Realizing that just as the problems didn’t develop overnight
So they won’t be resolved overnight.
It will take perseverence, working together, creativity…
And the grace of GOD to solve problems and work through solutions!
*The staff member at Southwood Presbyterian Church responsible for community development.
**As described in the book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert