Luke 10:25-37 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. KJV
Personally I think poverty is a social phenomenon and it cannot simply be explained by stating that every poor person made the wrong choices in life or got involved with the wrong crowd or failed to be smart with their money. Poverty and explaining the causes of poverty, in my opinion, is a lot more complex and intricate than that.
This is a very random blog post, I know but I just gave food to a deaf homeless guy and surprisingly it left me feeling worse than I did beforehand. I feel like we have become so numb to certain social issues. Poverty, violence, homelessness and so many other social issues have become so normalised that it has seemingly just become a regular thing and turning our heads and having a blind eye towards these things has also become a regular thing.
This is why I pray for mindfulness. We get so caught up in the issues happening in our lives that we forget that there are other things happening to someone else that are way deeper and bigger than what we can see and what we’re going through. Being mindful means to be able to be present, it is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” How often are we aware? To be honest, I feel like we barely ever are.
I was literally walking out of my lecture to grab some food and as I approached the shop I just saw him on the floor and my heart instantly dropped. Now, of course I’ve seen many homeless people in my life and honestly, as mentioned before, it had become such a normal thing to see on a daily basis that it just stopped fazing me, I just stopped feeling for the less fortunate… That’s sad isn’t it, when you lose the ability to feel for someone who is in a lesser position than yourself… Anyway, at first I just walked past him and went into the shop and when I did that my heart felt so heavy, I had to speak to him. So, I walked back out and bent down and said “would you like me to buy you some food” and he just pointed to his ears to show me that he had lost his hearing. I made a hand gesture which signified eating food and he just smiled and nodded. So at this point I’m kinda freaking out, what if he’s allergic to something, what if I’m being scammed (this is so stupid I know, why on earth would this vulnerable deaf man be scamming me? How? Yeah this was the dumbest thought I’ve had in a while). I bought him some food, walked out of the shop, knelt down beside him and started taking the food out of my bag and placing it beside him. He looked right into my eyes… If I have ever seen sadness it was right there in that moment when I looked back at him. He gave me a thumbs up, a smile, I touched my chest to try and let him know that I felt for him and then I walked away.
Even though I didn’t really go out of my way for this man and it was a small but kind gesture I thought I’d feel somewhat happy that I was able to at least do something. But instead I felt burdened. Student finance gracefully entered my account not too long ago and all I kept thinking was “out of all the money I have in my account right now, all I could do was give this man the equivalent of £3 of this? That’s pathetic”. I have never felt so helpless in my life.
But then my mind was taken to the parable of the Good Samaritan. See, the Samaritan was mindful of the fact that this guy had been beaten and stripped of everything he had, he was mindful of the fact that this man was in a lesser position than himself and he felt for him, he had compassion on him.
I’m not saying you have to give food to a deaf homeless guy outside of Tesco Express to be mindful. I am saying that we need to be aware of what is going on around us, the same way the Samaritan was aware of that man’s unfortunate circumstances. Become aware of people’s unfortunate circumstances, help people, go out of your way to do something for someone. Even if it seems small to you, it could make a huge difference in their life. I believe that selflessness is at the core of Christianity. To selflessly serve others and to selflessly give OUT OF LOVE (your motive has to be correct in the eyes of God as the intentions behind your actions says a lot about who you are and what is operating inside of your heart but that is another blog post, for another day).
Jesus did not come to proclaim His Sovereignty and make the people bow before Him. Jesus came to serve, (Matthew 20:28) to selflessly give His life so that we may have life and do the same. God is love and He expressed His love by giving His only Begotten Son (John 3:16). To see whether you truly have the Love of God in your heart, ask yourself how freely you give to others, how selflessly you serve others and how open you are to helping others even if it seems out of the ordinary.
peace & love xo