A friend, who happens to be the techie midwife of this blog, asks some very earnest and basic questions, which you can read here. In short he’s asking, “How can an ordinary guy like me, not a Mother Teresa, take seriously Christ’s words about helping the poor?”
This appeared on his blog several weeks ago, and though I haven’t commented either on his site or this one, it’s not for failure to give it thought. I’ve almost missed my kids’ carpool thinking about it in the shower, then driven past their school thinking about it in the car, etc which they will tell you is hardly unusual when I’ve got something cooking in the brain.
Though Jesus seemed to spend most of his time with the poor and dispossessed, and oriented his ministry toward them, I am struck by his manner toward wealthy individuals who came to him with a sincere heart. I’m thinking of people like Nicodemus, Zaccheus, the “rich young ruler,” and presumably Joseph of Arimathea. He didn’t dismiss them with stereotypes, but neither did he ignore the fact that wealth and power might be a core issue for these guys. (Democrats reading my friend’s blog might not read far before dismissing him for his politics, just as Republicans reading some recent posts below have dismissed writers for theirs. Hmmm, not that Michelle Warren has experienced anything like that!!) He engaged them seriously and lovingly, knowing that their souls were at stake.
As an ordinary American middle-class guy, my friend probably doesn’t spend much time consciously thinking of himself as rich and powerful. A lot of the time he sits in his office cubicle, feeling small and thinking geez there’s got to be more to life than this. But he passes homeless people on the street, and watches the news, and takes an overseas mission trip, and reads the Bible, and now he’s got some major conflicts in his heart and mind.