Nobody gets a free pass to ignore the poor

My friends and fellow church people, are y’all living in the same world I’m living in? Do we even care about poor people?

Lately, I’ve been questioning how church leaders prioritize what parts of the Bible they believe in. If our faith is shown by our works and what whether we’re doers of the word, then how can we religiously shudder at curse words but curse the poor by rejecting them? If God cares about the words we say, how much more must he care about our actions!

In this time of questioning and being consistently pissed, I’m just trying to do the things I know that God has asked me to do. I’m not sure about the verbal gymnastics involved in respectable churchy society, but I do know that God loves the poor. Jesus told us that the poor would always be with us. Our job as Christians is to give to those who need, as God has supplied our need. And you know what? It’s not about money! It’s about being willing to affirm human dignity in the face of disaster.

I may not have anything good to say, but I have ears that can listen, a little extra food, time, or money. How can we take the burdens of the poor so lightly? If church people resisted making this about self-righteousness and what we can do in our own strength, how many more people would just be willing to show up?

It’s not like the apostles didn’t have off days. You think Abraham had a great time wandering in the desert? You think Jesus enjoyed the cross? What about Moses? Was he actually any good at leading?

God may give some people talent, but I swear, it’s better to be clueless, under prepared, and be willing to show up. Better to be completely ignorant of how to fix it and have the desire to obey.

Because let me tell you what happens when we think we’ve got the solutions: we do nothing. We judge how we’d act in so and so’s shoes without bothering to humble ourselves. We act like we know better, and exact like we’re exempt from caring. We act like we have to be qualified. We act like we have to have a plan.

I’m sorry, but for a people who claims to be relying on God’s grace, gifts, and planning, that sounds pretty ridiculous. You don’t need a plan/gifts/spare time/money to do something. You need a plan/gifts/spare time/money to do NOTHING.

If you gave in faith, would it not be multiplied back to you? Do you not receive many times back what you sacrifice out of faith, and reverence to God?

God help my screwed up priorities if I’m unwilling to move. We adjust the little habits we already do instead of becoming radical so we have the comfort of pushing our peas around our plates. What if the answer was going hungry? It’s not like you’re eating the damn peas anyway.

So many church leaders act as though the culture they’ve snuggled up in hasn’t also been fabricated, and doesn’t also fall short. Instead of reaching out to those who presently need our help, we make silken cocoons that slowly choke us. Wrapped in a blanket of our own devising, we never become bothered. When the silk gets spun over your eyes and seals you off to the world everyone else is living in, who can break you free?

Better to be poor and hated than comfortably ignoring your need. What’s it going to be, America? Are we actually happy?

Show up. The Lord will find a way to use you. Sing in worship, even if you don’t have a good voice. Who exactly are you singing to? Is it God, or the people around you? If you care and can suffer a little less ego, it’s better to praise even if you sound like hell. This is not our kingdom, but the kingdom of God. We can bear to be small. It’s better for us.

It’s better to have no plan than avoid responsibility. For all of our holy rules and requirements, it’s hard to find a people who really loves God.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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