So, it really is terrible isn’t it? I am sure we will console ourselves by sending a few pounds to the suffering. We really seem these days to have a certain incapacity to really feel for the needs of the poor. They call it the old ‘compassion fatigue’, don’t they?
The picture of a man walking down the street carrying his drowned dead child is a picture I don’t want to see. Why? Because I am supposed to be enjoying myself at this time of the year…so the world tells me. The picture of whole communities engulfed by water and dead bodies is not something I want to see. Why? Because I’d rather be looking at some cute American children singing pretty Christmas songs with a big purple Dinosaur called Barney.
And the ‘God with us’ looks at the global picture and surely his heart weeps at the wealth of some and the poverty of others. Does it not make you angry? Or have you too justified your standard of living?
I hope you will forgive my miserable remarks. No-one likes to listen to an old misery (or a young one). But humanity suffers, can’t you hear the crying? We all liked Gowans’ catchy phrase didn’t we… “to save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity.” We like the idea, but when it actually comes to doing it we can be lazy to the bone in every way…spiritually, mentally and physically.
It costs to save souls because it means spending ourselves. It costs to grow saints, because it steals our time and energy. It costs to save sufferning humanity because the poor are everywhere you look.
I was disgusted with an officer last week who quoted, totally out of context, “the poor you have with you always.” Out of context simply becuase he was justifying some sort of rediculous extravagance. I don’t reckon Jesus meant what many people take from that, that.. “ah…whats the point, you just enjoy youself, take care of yourself, because there will always be poor people. ”
I guess Jesus meant “there will be lots and lots of opportunities to serve the poor, and I want you to do it with joy because when you serve them you actually serve me, but while I am here with you, worship me this way, but remember, then go and worship me by serving the poor.” It wasn’t a get out clause for avoiding the plight of the poor.
If anyone wants a 5000 theological paper on that one, I’ll happily oblige…but I am sure that through the medium of blog you know what I am kicking at.