I am working through a Nehemiah study and this was the way one of the chapters opened tonight. Her words touched me deep within….
You see it is easy to tithe money to a good cause, it’s easy to pray for the poor from time to time, it’s even easy to “sponsor a child” and send a monthly check. But how many of us LOVE a poor person? How many of us sit at the same table and look at them with the same compassion in our eyes as Jesus would and listen to them talk? How many of us see the rugged exterior wrapped up in a lifetime of poor choices and get stuck there, and never see the wonderful creation of God, as he intended it to be?
When was the last time that you (or I) spoke truth and life into a needy, poor person? When were we affirming? When did we tell them that the Lord’s thoughts for them outweigh the grains of sand on the beach, and share just one or two of them? (Psalm 139)
You see, loving the poor and the needy is the “noble” thing to do, but what does love look like to you?
I have to admit, that my trip to New Orleans to pray for Human Trafficking taught me many things. One of which was that I haven’t been doing a very good job of “loving” the poor and the needy.
I was able to show love. I made friends with one homeless man named Jorge. He came by daily and we had some great talks. Some very humbling talks for me… I intended to show him Jesus, but friends, at the end of the day, he showed me Jesus. He showed me the Jesus that loves from the inside out. That doesn’t look to appearances. He knew every homeless person that I had encountered and could tell me their story. He knew the bible, and he knew grace.
You see, the poor and the needy, they have a name. God knows it…. do you?