My friend Lorraine (not her real name) lives in the projects. She is the diligent mother of a school-aged child. She loves God and works hard to bring up her son in the way he should go. Lorraine’s heart was severely, permanently damaged several years ago. She is on disability and sometimes needs help to make ends meet.
This week, Lorraine called for help. Apparently, now that her son’s father is paying a token for child support, she no longer qualifies for the same food stamp assistance. So instead of getting $60 per month to feed herself and a growing child, she will now receive $52 per month. In the process of changing Lorraine’s food stamp account, the government office accidentally deleted all her stamps for this month.
Off goes Lorraine with a heart condition into the heat and humidity of summer. She needs to find out why her food stamp voucher is being declined. She meets with a woman who finds the error. The woman tells Lorraine not to worry as it should only take seven to ten days to correct the problem. Now if Lorraine and her son could just wait that long to eat.
This story is true but not isolated. It is hard to handle poverty until Christ comes back. I don’t know where the line belongs between compassion and encouraging unwarranted dependence. I do know that I can spend $52 in an unguarded, aimless trip to the mall. I also know that during His earthly journey, Christ was poor. If He came today, His family would likely live in the projects. It makes a Christian think.
May you feel His grace today,
The last Word:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear.
Isaiah 58: 6-8, NIV.