Do you think to yourself, “It’s okay if I don’t help out people who are in poverty or trouble? After all, I pay my taxes, and those taxes help to support Social Services for poor people.”
Think again! I read an article the other day about this issue. The writer, Keith Giles, lives in California. But the story he tells, and the points he makes, are true wherever you are. Listen to some of what he writes:
I’ve been running around today trying to help a family with a 3 week old baby….
What really breaks my heart is knowing that organizations that I’ve championed for years cannot do a thing to actually help these people. The truth is, I’m learning, they never were capable of actually helping anyone beyond the 10 or 12 people they were currently helping, even though they were receiving millions of dollars a year from the Government to fight homelessness in Orange County. (Most of their funding finances are spent on paying their staff and keeping the lights on in their facilities).
I think when it really comes down to it the only real solution to helping people like this are you and me. The followers of Jesus have to step up and help. We have to invest our lives in their lives. We have to let them sleep on our couches, or lend them money to buy food, or share our resources with them, or put them up in a motel until they can get help, or they will never get off the streets.
The system is designed to keep people on the streets….
All we can do is help one person, or one family like this, at a time. The system is broken. The shelters are full. The rescue mission is understaffed and their waiting lists are so long that people will die of exposure before they get one of those beds.
Only those who claim to follow Jesus can ever hope to make a difference. How? By giving until it hurts and by serving those who can never pay us back. By sharing what we don’t want to give up and by allowing the problems of the homeless and the poor to become our problems.
We’ll have to love more than we think we can. We’ll have to give more than we’re expecting to. We’ll have to do even greater things than these.
Go to Keith’s blog, subversive1, and read the details of the story of this family in need. Read about how and why the system, sadly, fails over and over again.
And then, ask yourself, “Is paying my taxes enough? Can I do more? As a follower of Jesus, how can I truly be part of the solution?”
Now GO OUT AND LOVE. Give, serve, share. Invest your life. Walk with Jesus today. Please.