Time Magazine has an interesting article on how the stress of poverty can impact one’s thinking and actions in a negative way. I am saddened that we live in a society which either wants to ignore the poor and let them suffer the consequences of their poverty, or simply wants to give them handouts in a kind of welfare state, which really does not help them get on their feet and become contributors to society. Thankfully most people would opt for neither, but it seems like the political dialog in this country goes back and forth in those two extremes.
Our faith in God in and through Jesus should lead us to trust the Father to take care of us and all our needs, and enable us to help those who are in poverty. To work on this issue would help to decrease the number of abortions. With God’s help people can help each other. The church should be especially adept at this, beginning among its own, while at the same time doing what it can wisely do for the outside community. The church we are members of, even though it is not overflowing with money, does something of both in a way that is commendable.
Yes, we are thankful for the work and all the good ways we get help. But we must remember that the one who provides every good gift for all is God. It’s in spite of us that God in his mercy and love provides. And God’s passion for the poor is seen over and over again in the pages of scripture. We need to enter into that passion ourselves in and through Jesus. And of course we need to live out ourselves a life of faith in God. We won’t help others in the way of Jesus unless we’re walking in that way ourselves. And so we need to learn and grow in the radical trust in the Father which Jesus prescribes in his great Sermon on the Mount.
We need to slow down, stop, not panic, but put our trust in God in and through Jesus. And go on, doing what God calls us to do faithfully, perhaps what’s right in front of us. Believing in our heavenly Father’s provision for us and for the world in and through Jesus.