Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Not Their Fault

Whoever we blame for poverty in this country, there's one group that's entirely innocent - the children.  That's easy to forget in the endless and overheated political rhetoric of this presidential campaign.  

Years ago I was standing in the lobby of an overnight homeless mission at 5:00 a.m., talking to a single mom preparing to take her children to school on city buses and still get to work in just under two hours.  As I stood there looking at her three lovely children, I thought of my own children blissfully asleep in their beds at that hour because they didn't have to sleep in a shelter.  And I kept thinking, why are my children so blessed? What did they do to deserve a better life, or at least one with significantly less challenges and sacrifices?  And I realized that they, like the children that stood before me, had done nothing to deserve the life they had.  I've had that thought many, many times - in Haiti, in Honduras, in Chicago, Detroit, San Antonio, and Austin.  

So, the next time we're waxing eloquent about who's to blame for people living in poverty and the drain that it is on our economy, remember those innocent children who always suffer the most for our adult mistakes and neglect.  It's not their fault.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rich and Poor Together

One of my favorite Christian authors is Shane Claiborne.  His book, Irresistible Revolution, is my favorite of all his writings.  I like Shane because he doesn't just speak and write about social justice, like so many, but he lives it every day.  That's why his observations about fellow Christians are so essential to understanding God's will for all of us.

"I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor, but that rich Christians do not know the poor...I truly believe that when the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning.  And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end."  (Irresistible Revolution, pp. 113-114)

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day.  And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus..."  (Luke 16:19-20)

"Resources, without relationships, are invariably wasted."

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