Today I had lunch with a special woman who for years has challenged the deep in me. She has loved, corrected, encouraged, and challenged me to chase after the heart of God and live for him in ways he designed. Today was no different. Within ten minutes of seeing each other she unloaded about a class she had taken for her Masters in Christian Leadership. Global outreach and poverty had a leading role in her syllabus and proved to be a convicting subject. She shared how she had come to realize poverty, at it’s root, is a broken relationship with God and others. There is a lack of trust and growth. The worst is when the western world looks to be a god in the lives of the impoverish and “save” them, looking to change their ways. They think they know the answer, and even if they do, often the way it’s imposed is… western. We assume the impoverish want what the western world wants and that’s not necessarily the case. What really grinds my gears is when we don’t even consult or build relationship with those we seek to help. They are people not projects.
When we look to serve the poor and broken we must first love them. We must be willing to fight for their best, not our best. We can’t pat ourselves on the back every five minutes for what we are doing, dare our eyes and intention turn on us, instead we can follow the cue of Jesus and love with no reserve the broken and poor, accepting the gritty and unglamorous honor of serving them right where they are at.
Our money, ideology, and timeline are not the answer for the poor. Our surrendered hearts for Kingdom change and unceasing love for the broken to know wholeness is where we should start.