Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land." Deuteronomy 15:11 NRSV
It is interesting that the more I read the Old Testament, the more I hear much of Jesus' teachings. Jesus himself said that we would always have the poor with us. This was in response to the supposed waste of the perfume broken on his feet (Mark 14:3-9). But Jesus was correct in saying that the poor are always with us. The sad part is that our compassion is often not.
Yesterday I spoke with a woman who owed over $600 dollars on her power bill - just from one month! She was having trouble getting help paying the bill. She had contacted the United Way, local churches in her own county, and was now branching into other counties and calling other churches. No one seemed to be able to help her.
We have rules, I explained to her, that state the person must live in our general area and we would be limited to helping with only $20 anyway. She said even that much would be helpful for her. However, right now we have no money in our fund.
I know of at least one church member that is in desperate need of money to keep them from loosing their home. I keep thinking our church is not wealthy enough to help. Our church has helped this person more than once in the past. Won't people be upset if we help again?
"Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land...."
God, we are stretched very thin. But our hands are tightly closed. Help us to be compassionate and open our hands. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims