Cinahilger's Blog



None of my friends are homeless.

Sometimes, I really wish I could solve everyone’s problems.

Well, okay..maybe not everyone, (that would get old fast) but the people I know and care about. I wish I could win the lottery. There are so many people I would LOVE to give money. And I’m not saying that to sound all good and full of empathy, I hate seeing the people around me suffer under sucky situations. I keep this running tally in my head of people to whom I would give money if I ever stumble upon a million dollars.

The weird thing is, however, that these are all friends of mine. And while they are undoubtedly suffering for lack of money, this is in almost every case because of student loans or divorce or some such thing. And almost everyone on the list has a job, you know, and an income. None of my friends are living under an overpass somewhere. Not that I’m downplaying their plight either, because debt or lack of funds can hinder us in so many ways. Still, the people in my life are by no means the “least of these”. But they’re the people I feel the strongest wish to help.

And that’s not wrong, exactly. These are some of the people in my life that I value the most. So naturally I care about their welfare more than the average bum.

In Luke it says “But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”

I know that we should be generous even when we don’t feel generous, but to feel empathy for our fellow man is one way in which we are created in His image. When we feel for others, we are sharing this attribute with God (though only belatedly and vaguely is our watered-down love in comparison to His).

Jesus was a friend to the sinners, the lowest of society. And He was both God and Man. His empathy and love for us was so great that He died for all of us, died for me when I wouldn’t be born for another two thousand (ish) years. We short-sighted humans usually have to get to know people before we can truly feel for them. Jesus felt empathy for all. He didn’t have to get to know everyone, He’s omnipresent. Yet in His time on earth he dined with prostitutes and tax collectors. He was friends to those who needed Him the most acutely, and knew it. He didn’t just hang out with the rich guys with cool cars and stuff, he got down to brass tacks. He went straight to the people who needed him the most. Why? Because Christ is love and has not selfishness. And because He was a living example of how we should behave.

So today I feel challenged to befriend the bums, to feel real empathy for them, to get to know people and show them that they are dear to me. Maybe then the list of people I would give money to if I won the lottery would be filled even more full.

In America we have so much separation from the destitute. Not just those in our own country who are in need, but in other countries, people living and raising their children in piles of refuse, families broken apart all over the world by war..sickness..addiction..apathy. Maybe the answer to this isn’t just to have another fundraiser, or a louder, more pitiful-sounding commercial. Maybe the answer is to first see the people in need and then to befriend them. Break down the barrier between those in need and those with excess.

It’s not likely that I will win the lottery, you see, since I’ve never bought a lottery ticket.

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