Saturday, June 22, 2024

Love your neighbor as yourself

| March 1, 2023 2:00 AM

I feel grieved at the community response to the triumvirate commissioners’ letter, which condemned enabling the homeless, yet also seemed to shame any other assistance.

While I also object to government being a socialist redistributor of wealth or needing to “have all the answers” or carrying the burden, I would squarely say it is a gross overreach of power and position to tell non-profits or individuals to “stop helping” – with or without perceived “accountability”. The directives have given permission for every Jack, Kevin, and Karen to vent their full condemnation and judgment of anyone less fortunate than they. I’ve never seen such malice and self-righteousness in our community. Like the American false gospel, these criminalize poverty and feel self-justified in stereotyping, overgeneralizing, and washing their hands of showing any generosity and compassion to their neighbor (see Good Samaritan story). Some ancient proverbs:

“Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.”

“Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors Him.”

“Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

God forbid we should collectively find ourselves in a recession and need to actually help one another, while living alongside such a dismissive spirit. To anyone who has ever taken a risk to provide a warm meal, a place to stay, a hand-up, a job, or shown any act of compassion to a stranger, “THANK YOU!” – you inspire me. Forget the naysayers and critics and keep doing what you’re called to do. If it wasn’t for you, I’m sure we’d have been counting bodies this winter.

“If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and he will repay you!”

“The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.”

To the local law enforcement – THANK YOU for addressing real issues of drug cartels, trafficking, theft, and dangerous criminal activity (in every social class). You are God-sends.

To Christians especially – time to dust off our Bibles, read what He says about the poor, and start walking it out.

“Love Your neighbor as yourself.”

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

Brian Friess