I’ve grown up in a fairly well-to-do family. We didn’t live extravagantly, but we were never in great need. My father is a genius when it comes to finances. His mother looked after their family’s finances, using the tested-and-true envelope system. They would walk 5 miles to save a nickel. My father picked up a lot of the lessons my grandmother taught him. He got out of debt quick and was able to retire with my mother at the age of 30 (this was 5 years before they had me, their first child). My father just recently retired again, and is now able to do anything he wants.
My girlfriend and I were at the grocery store late last night. An elderly lady was working the cash register. I realized as I watched her work that she likely didn’t want to be working at 11pm on a Tuesday night. It’s highly unlikely that she finds the job that fulfilling. I would guess she would do just about anything if she didn’t have to be there.
This woman is one of thousands of elderly people who were unable to save enough money for retirement, and who are now working insane jobs and hours just to make ends meet.
The thing about poverty is that it is not just children in Africa who are affected by it. We encounter it every single day. Unlike what the media has to say about it, the homeless are not the only ones struggling with poverty. People all over the country are piled in debt. Families are struggling to feed their families. Children are showing up to school in old hand-me-down clothes.
Many people today have pointed to new organizations that are doing great things to help curb poverty in our world. While many of these organizations are innovative and doing amazing things, there is one organization that should and could be doing a lot better. The church has existed for over 2000 years. Literally billions of people have professed to believe in the message of Jesus. It makes me wonder, then, with all of the money and resources and talent that the church encompasses, how is it possible that poverty even exists?
When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation.
And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?” Then the King will say, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.” I know I don’t do this. I know I don’t love the least. I don’t have any answers how to make this better.