Tuesday, August 16, 2005

UNOH conference(part2 the poor need you)

One of the things Jackie told us was very impactful. She said the poor don't need your money, they need you. Ofcourse they probably need both. But this is the problem many of those that don't give use as a "proof" that it is hopeless.

If we give money it will be eaten up by administration. It will be used up and wasted by the politicians. It will be spent on weapons, etc.

Well some of those things may be true, however, the poor and the marginalized need more than money, they need you.

My brother lived with a young racist skin head for about a year. The guy was a bit of a nutter, and I tried to help him grow out of his hate and anger a bit, but I wasn't very successful. His Grandfather was a multi millionaire who really took a liking to my brother. He was talking to my brother one day and said, "these people think they should have my money, that it isn't fair, well you know what? If I gave them my money they would piss it away. In a few years they would be poor again" And though I would love to test his theory, it might be true in some instances.

We only need to look at the gangster mc's to see how often when we add a lot of money to certain situations that it doesn't help, and can make it worse. But then what is our calling?

It seems to me that they not only need monetary help, but that they also need community, they need support, they need friends, they need examples. Josh McDowell once told me that what I needed to do in the midst of a generation of broken families (the number one cause of poverty in the first world), was to love my wife and kids infront of as many people as I can, but especially the kids in my youth group. He said we might be the only real family they ever see, and they need to have an example to follow. I think I am saying the same thing.

I can send my money, and I do. I can show up at the soup kitchen, and I have. But as long as I go home, in my nice comfortable neighborhood. As long as I am hidden from the people I say I care about. I am just perpetuating a system that keeps the poor, poor. It is easy, and almost ridiculously easy to give to the poor. Infact it makes you feel better. But it is something different to actually live with them. Funny, but when you actually do it, you realize that was pretty easy to. Jackie also said that, its the doing that is hard, then you realize I should have done this long ago.

the rev


Kitty Cheng said...

I also wrote a post on Jackie Pullinger's talk last Sat night here: http://kittycheng.blogspot.com/2005/08/jackie-pullinger_17.html

Rev, do you believe that every one is called to minister to the poor?

Erin said...

Amen and amen! Arrived via neurotribe, and so glad I did.