I work in a clinic that services a mainly “poor” population.  Not everyone is poor. But the majority are and I have heard on more than one occasion, when I ask them about outside support or friends: “I don’t have anyone.  I have absolutely no one who can help me”. I look at the person in disbelief because this is a concept I have never personally endured.  From the day I was born (in a Christian commune), my family has been surrounded by other families that truly do care and are there in crisis.  I have had friends since kindergarten that I am still close to.  My friends are friends I have had for years.  Sure, there have been a few that I have stopped talking to for whatever reason but again, people in my life, the majority of them, are people I have known for years.

I heard a sermon on podcast (Andy Stanley?) talking about why God hated Sodom so much.  One reason:  They had a law that if any citizen was seen helping a poor person in any way, that person was put to death.  There was no tolerance for helping poor people.

Proverb 14:20  The poor is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich has many friends.

Proverb 17:5  Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker, and he who is glad at calamity shall not be held innocent or go unpunished.

Proverb 22:2 The rich and poor meet together; the Lord is Maker of them all.

Luke 14:13  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind.  Then you will be blessed because they have no way of repaying you, and you will be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Galatians 2:10  They only made one stipulation, that we were to remember the poor, which very thing I was also eager to do.

Matthew 25:35-36, 40  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged me. I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see me….Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for the least of these My brethren, you did it for Me.

My point:  Love on some poor people.  They don’t have many friends.  Smile at them.  Hug them.  If they ask for money, ask what they need it for.  If you don’t have any money, say you don’t have any money.  If they want lunch, take them to lunch.  If they need new shoes, buy them some shoes.  If they are in prison, go visit them.  If they need a place to stay for the night, buy them a night at Motel 8 (if they can’t stay with you).  Just because you are poor doesn’t mean you are looking to rip someone off or steal their wallet.  I mean, really! The people all blinged-out are the ones you should be worried about (cuz they actually look like they have been stealing) more than the dude with holes in his shoes, dirty pants, asking you for lunch. Rhonda’s Proverb of the Day: Watch for the “Martha Stewarts” of the world for they are the ones who just got out of jail…

Just bloom where you are planted.  If you have a prison ministry, then minister to prisoners.  If you work at Starbucks, then work hard at Starbucks.  If you have been blessed, then share it.  If you see a poor person, don’t cross the street; stop and talk. Put them on your proverbial “donkey”and take them to the proverbial “inn” like a good Samaritan would. 🙂