Day 79

19 Mar

I am writing a post for adella. And if I recall correctly, she has dropped the “dear dad” thing.

Couple of things:

1. Dear Logan’s Roadhouse: do you really think anyone believes that eating at a restaurant is cheaper than eating at home? Encouraging us to “do the math” seems like a bad idea for business.

2. It is really hard to help poor people for a couple of reasons. First, you never want to just give them money, I think that’s conventional wisdom. But that means that anything you want to do for them is three times harder than it would be in any other situation.

Second, poverty creates a lack of the very resources one needs to be helped. If you don’t have a phone or an address, I can’t invest in you as a person to help you because I have no way, other than either blind luck or immediately and radically altering my life schedule upon meeting you, to follow up.

Three, it is hard not to be cynical, and I don’t want to be, but does anyone ever get the feeling that poor people don’t really want to be helped? There have been several times I’ve been “stood up” by a poor person (a beggar, really), and that kind of poisons the well. When I’m willing to give rides and give money and buy groceries, and they’re not willing to use the quarters I gave them to call me, it makes me ask that question: Do you want to be helped, or do you just want my money?

On the other hand, who of us can say that if we were at the point where we needed to beg to pay our electric bill, we would be willing to allow some stranger access to our life and to try and “help” us and “change” us? I think I would rather just take the money.

3. Springing off of that, what does all this mean about our relationship to a God whose Son became poor for us, who died for us before we believed in him, etc etc? Is the incarnational model there to tell us that we should work really really really hard to help poor people, through change and relationship, etc, even when by all accounts it seems they’d rather just be poor than deal with us? If so, how do we interpret and apply the Biblical commands to allow a person’s choices to fall on their own head—and this includes the choice of salvation!

So just some quick thoughts.

JM

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