Last week I wrote about the book Radical
that I am reading. To be honest, I can only read it in small snippets because it is just that powerful.
I can only read a chapter at a time and then really must digest it before moving on.
As someone who desires to live more simply, this book is just hitting home on many levels. It in convicting and eye opening.
My desire for simplicity often tugs at me because I think about other people in this world suffering, while this country is indulging. So part of my quest comes from the desire of my heart for hurting people.
So, this week my reading in Radical has really hit this nerve:
More than twenty-six thousand children today will breathe their last breath due to starvation or a preventable disease.
As a mom and as a human being, that is heart wrenching.
Every Sunday we gather in a multimillion-dollar building with millions of dollars in vehicles parked outside. We leave worship to spend thousands of dollars on lunch before returning to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of homes. We live in luxury.
Meanwhile, the poor man is outside our gate. And he is hungry. In the time we gather for worship on a Sunday morning, almost a thousand children elsewhere die because they have no food. If it were our kids starving, they would all be gone by the time we said our closing prayer. We certainly wouldn’t ignore our kids while we sang songs and entertained ourselves, but we are content with ignoring other parents’ kids. Many of them are our spiritual brothers and sisters in developing nations. They are suffering from malnutrition, deformed bodies and brains, and preventable diseases. At most, we are throwing our scraps to them while we indulge in our pleasures here.
~Radical, David Platt
The church is not a building, it is a body. And while we strive to make things more comfortable for ourselves here, people are dying from lack of simple necessities.
How does that happen?
How do we live in a country where obesity is a problem, when billions are starving?
How do we live in a country plagued by debt, when over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 dollars a day?
How do we spend money on storage units to hold all of our “stuff,” when people are living in a meager tent with just the shirt on their back?
How do we hoard, when others struggle to live…
How do we indulge, when babies die?
It is not an easy issue to wrap your mind around, but as Christians one we must.
My heart really hurts over these issues. As Platt states in his book, we have a “blind spot” to these issues. Like if we just pretend its not there, it is ok. But as Christians we can NOT do that. We must have a heart for the poor.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” — when you now have it with you.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
1 Corinthians 10:24
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
I do not know how to reconcile all of this, except to pray. Pray that I will follow God’s leading in my response to this, as well as the church’s response.
I was not saved for myself. But to live for HIm. And He calls us to help those in need.