We all know that poverty exists, but we often prefer to keep a safe distance. Because a close up of poverty is, simply put, not pretty.
But when it is in your face almost everyday, you are forced to think of your response to it.
And though we all know that compassion is what our response should be, a hurting heart does not necessarily initiate giving generously when you are confronted day after day after day with street kids, disabled men that push themselves through the street on a little cart, homeless people with a sky high hospital bill, abandoned babies.
Kids with glue bags in their hands who ask for money but say no thanks to the orange you offer.
A guy on your doorstep with a rice bag and torn clothes, his family is sick, he is hungry. Or so he says.
Cause maybe he is making it up.
And money doesn’t solve the problems, does it?
And wouldn’t he just spend it on drugs anyway?
And what if he comes back tomorrow, and the day after?
And I wish he wouldn’t sit on my porch like that, why doesn’t he leave…
And you find yourself hiding in the kitchen, with your cup of coffee and your fancy chocolate cookie, quietly wishing the guy would just leave now, if only he would leave….
And then you remember those words
spoken long ago
…Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”