This morning I was reading a few chapters from the Bible and I was really struck by how often God’s thoughts about the poor came up in what I was reading. Here are a few examples of how God feels about the poor:
Psalm 68: 5-6 – A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a dry and sun-scorched land.
Psalm 68:10 – …from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.
Psalm 69:32 – The poor will see and be glad – you who seek God, may your hearts live!
Proverbs 14:31 – He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
People who are “left out” by the rest of society break God’s heart. Yet, it is so easy for us to pass them by. Here in El Salvador there are many poor, many widowed, many orphaned and abandoned. They are the reason that we came to this country. We have been here for a month and we see many of the same people in the streets each day, or they stop by asking for clothes, or money. I just hope that I never lose the sorrow I feel when I see them. I hope that as time goes by I never become desensitized to the suffering of others. I can’t imagine how exhausted Jesus was during his earthly ministry because he was always feeling the pain of those around him, he was always stopping to heal someone who was hurting, to give hope to one that was lost. He brought them life, not just a handout, and I hope that we will be able to do the same. I hope that my eyes will always be open to those who are suffering – not only physically and financially, but also spiritually. I hope that I can give generously even when it’s hard and even when I might get taken advantage of.
Christmas is a time when people give to the poor, when they remember those who are alone. I challenge you to do that not only this Christmas, but all year long. I challenge you to have the same heart for the poor that God has.