I've missed blogging this week. A couple of big work assignments, family and The Mission had me in over my head this week. Sorry to those faithful readers...I'll try not to let it happen again.
Did anybody see 20/20 tonight? The story was on the Appalachian Poverty Epidemic. Those who know me will understand that it was terribly hard for me to see it, hear the story and feel the pain that exuded from faces of innocent children, toothless parents, and drug infested teenagers. What a terrible shame. I was first made aware of the enormity of this problem a few years ago when American Idol did their first Idol Gives Back. Savannah and I watched as they spoke about a town in the Kentucky Appalachian Mtns. that needed books for their library. Savannah was only 4 at the time and said she could start collecting books for kids and we could mail them to Kentucky (she is her mother's daughter isn't she?) Anyway, tonight those emotions were stirred again as I watched this horrible picture of poverty on TV. People who drop out of school because for them their employment doesn't require a high school diploma. A teenage boy was living in his car because of the alcohol abuse. A young girl was molested by a relative. An 11 year old was taking care of her drug abusing mother. It broke my heart.
Most people need a reality check to know that these circumstances exist in America. Money, education, jobs, training, dental work, health care, housing, transportation, and other things are all needed to help these people get out of the pit they are in. But first they need Jesus. They need someone to show up and be Jesus. Someone with skin on. Someone who will work along side them and show them how to improve their lives. Someone who looks, smells, feels, talks and acts like Jesus. Someone who will teach with humility...not a super saving self serving attitude. Someone who will get their hands dirty...not worrying about the dirt, grime, smell, filth. Someone who will give a smile to a toothless stranger....share a bottle of water with a coal miner...and in the midst of it all share the story of how valuable they are to Jesus...how much they matter to Him....how much Jesus can fill the loneliness, the hurt, the poverty of spirit, the hole that engulfs their body and soul. After all that is all that matters in the world and the world to come.
A commentator said something like this...maybe instead of judging the poverty we need a change in the geography of our hearts. I agree.