Thursday, August 30, 2007

I just don't understand it

As you know, I recently returned from a mission trip to Louisiana. I also just recently got back from a great vacation with my family. I am well rested and excited to be back and ready to do the work of God.

I received an email, that I must quote from, while I was away. This compassionate man says the following about the folks in Louisiana.... If you are to stupid to take care of yourself you deserve what you get. Through victimization and welfare we have bred a whole group of people who think they are owed everything. I say tough crap, get a job or die of starvation.

As I read that the first time and subsequently a few times after, I was just shocked. I do not know this man, and I am quite happy about that. I am not certain what caused this response and I am not really sure that it matters.

All I know is that in my spirit, I am troubled that people feel this way. So many times when we talk about aid and poverty and homelessness and other things it comes down to taxes and to politics. It all just seems so backwards to me.

Jesus wasn't concerned about where the money would come from but instead simply said to feed them and clothe them and take care of them.

As Christians, I believe our call is to go out into the world and to lift up those who can no longer lift themselves. When I read those words from the email I wish that I could sit down with this man and show him pictures and tell him some of the stories that I have seen and witnessed. I wish that I could help him see that this is a big world and it is a tough world. Often, in the name of "progress" and "success" we walk over and leave behind many people.

I think there can be and should be another way, a different way, a better way. Jesus' way!

What do you think?


Mark Winter said...

Sad. I would say that all of NOLA was victimized by Hurricane Katrina. After such a natural disaster, you don't go into a stricken area and ask, "Are you lazy or are you deserving of my help?" You just roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Pam said...

Its nice to see there are compassionate people left in the world, thank you!

revabi said...

Wow what prompted that? That must have been hard to read. I'll pray for him. I am glad you went down and did some mission work. It is such a heart opener.

JJ said...

I can remember a day, to my sadness, that I might have spoke words similar to that. I guess you could chalk it up to lack of experience or a failure to understand what loving your neighbor really means. Victimization was an interesting word choice by this person. It implies an oppressor. With those words he used, I think he may not understand oppression takes on other forms.