For the past few weeks, God has really been working on my heart for the poor of the world. It’s not that I didn’t care about or have compassion for the poor before, but God seems to be throwing some extra fuel on the fire.
Perhaps this is because, after 3 years of trying to sell our rental house, we finally have a contract pending, and if all goes well (prayers appreciated), we will close by the end of March. What this means for us is that we will be able to use the equity from that house to pay off the debt we incurred in order to bring home our precious daughter. This relieves a massive financial burden. Perhaps, God is preparing my heart to use the extra money that we’ll not be paying in credit card debt to love his people, specifically the poor, hungry, orphaned, and sick of this world. It feels like I am being bombarded with messages of God’s command to care for them, and His message of how difficult it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
This is such a hard message for me, because suburbia tells me that we are not rich. Some in our culture would even tell us that we are among the poor. After all, we are a family of 7 living on the very modest salary of a small town police officer. After all, our family qualifies for the reduced price school lunch program, and WIC, and in the not so distant past, we were collecting food stamps.
So obviously we are among the poor, right? I think not. I think we live in a nice suburban neighborhood, in a nice home that is fully furnished and nicely decorated, with 2 cars in our driveway, plenty to eat (sometimes more than plenty), and nice clothes to wear. I think we have 5 televisions, 4 video game systems, and 3 computers. I think our boys are involved in extra curricular activities, and we go on vacation almost every year. Is that really what qualifies for poor in this country? Seriously, we are poor enough to not pay taxes (sorry, I didn’t make the tax laws), and yet you just read the life we live, and it is not a life of poverty.
Granted, we cut back in areas that many in middle class Americans do not. Things like cable TV, dinners out to eat, and brand new cars (our both have over 120,000 miles) are not in our budget. But that is it. These are not the necessities of life. Doing without cable television does not, in my book, make us among the poor. If you ask me, we are wealthy by the world’s standards.
So, the burning question in my heart is, “What are we, the wealthy, going to do to serve those who really are poor?”.