Monday, August 4, 2014

Sharing Our Riches and Our Poverty

I'm not a big fan of Dennis Miller. Even when I agree with his opinion on a topic, I usually think he is unnecessarily harsh and snarky in expressing his opinion. But he said something the other day that I liked.
He was saying that, if he's going to give all this money to the government to help poor people get by and get back on their feet, he wishes that all of his money could go to one person in particular – so that he could at least go out to dinner with this guy once in a while and shoot the breeze with him.
I think he meant it as a joke. In fact, if I remember right, he specifically said he was joking (but even then, with him, I'm not always sure).
But I would say the same thing and not be joking at all. I would love that. I would love for all of the money I pay in taxes that is going to be designated to programs to help the needy to be given to me, along with a name of a local person who is in need of help from that money.
I want to take this person out to dinner and talk about his situation. I want to hear his story – to know what his goals are, what his dreams are, what the obstacles are that are standing in the way.
And I want to tell him my story. How our family got the money we have, the struggles we've faced, the obstacles we've overcome, the lessons we've learned, the battles we're still fighting.
Then I want to come up with a plan together to use that money to get him out of his situation of need. A specific plan. A personalized plan that takes into account all the relevant factors that apply to him and may not apply to others.
And then . . . I want to walk through life with him. Not shove a check in his hand and walk away. I want to hear how school is going. I want to take his kids for an evening when he and his wife need to get out for a night alone. I want to pray with him over bad medical tests results. I want to rejoice with him over job promotions. I want to actually live in community with this person and have him live in community with me – see each other's struggles, hear each other's pains, commiserate with each other's failures, and celebrate other's victories.
I want us to each see each other as human beings made in the image of God and not simply as money-dispensers and money-devourers.
Somehow, it seems like that's more like what God had in mind when He said to care for the needy. A mutually caring relationship. 'Cause we all possess our particular brand of riches . . . and we all suffer our particular brand of poverty . . . and God designed things so we need each other

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