Sunday, July 05, 2015

POOR PLANNING

I LOVE TO WALK DOWN PACIFIC AVENUE, except for one thing, the panhandlers. It’s not that I am against their place there, or even their asking for assistance, it’s that I feel guilty for not being able to help all of them, or to take the time to get to know them. I guess I could say that I am overwhelmed by the problem.

There are so many poor. I can understand the Lord Jesus’ words, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. (Mark 14:7) There’s another point worth considering as well and that is to define “poor.” There are many poor in Santa Cruz, and not all of them panhandle. We have poor in our valley, though they may not always be seen. And then there are the poor of the world.

Is poor not having a place to live? Is it not having enough food for your family? Is it not having the right clothing so you can go to school, or to have a good job? Is being poor not being able to go a doctor? Is being poor not having an adequate and clean water supply?  Yes, to all of these and so much more.  The problem is overwhelming and there are no easy answers, and there are quite a few bad ones.

What is the answer? I don’t have the answer to the problem of poverty in our community, country or our world, but I do have a plan to get us headed in the right direction and it means going back to Mark 14:7.

The plan starts with the end of the verse, “But you will not always have me.” We must start our work with the poor with Jesus. Before we spend time with getting to know the poor, we need to get to know Jesus. It is by His heart, His wisdom, and His power that we will be able to effectively help those in need.

So, here’s the plan: Spend time with the Master and then minister to the least of these. (Matthew 25:35-46)

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