Into the Blue

Being the Body of Christ

October 28th, 2010

I was sitting at a red light downtown last night when I was struck with a thought. It was sparked by seeing a homeless woman holding a sign that read, “Anything helps”. As I sat there, I tried to avoid eye contact as I felt pity on her and knew I had no cash on me to offer — other than $35 in Canadian currency, which is of little use in Spokane. Driving away, the thought struck me; never in the Gospels is there mention of Jesus handing out money to the homeless. While it doesn’t expressly imply that he never assisted those in need with financial assistance, I believe it gives a stronger implication about how best to help those in need, one that is starting to take root.

Jesus came into contact with many who were homeless beggars throughout his earthly ministry, but his actions were markedly different from what his followers do today. It is easy and simple to hand out financial assistance, but it really doesn’t alleviate their condition. Yet it is exactly this method we, as Christians, often take. “Here’s five bucks. It’s all I can spare, but I hope it helps.” Five dollars can get you a few meals if you have means to cook. I can buy several cans of Campbell’s Soup on five dollars, but then I’m back to wondering how I’ll afford to buy more when the money runs out. Have you really addressed their need?

When Jesus came into contact with the man born lame, he did not just drop a few coins at his feet and say, “Here. Get something to eat.” Jesus addressed his real need, both physical and spiritual. He first says, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven,” (Matt. 9:2) then he addresses his physical need and commands him to get up and walk.

The people we encounter in our own daily lives may not be born lame, but their needs are no less requiring a long-term fix. The homeless are not in need of a simple hand out. They are in need of sustainable income. Granted, there are those that are homeless by choice and have made panhandling a vocation (and scripture addresses this as well); the majority do not want to be in their current circumstance. Are we willing to take the time to truly address their need. Are we willing to develop meaningful relationships with those in need? Are we willing to support and encourage these individuals until they are able to “stand on their own two feet” or do we leave them lying in their situation? If in the same circumstance, what would you be longing for most? A temporary handout or someone who helped you find long-term employment and a way off the street? Perhaps we should follow in Jesus’ footsteps and reach them, get to know them. Then, we can truly be the Body of Christ and let Jesus continue to heal the lost and broken.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright ©2009 Into the Blue. All rights reserved.