Wow! I found the theme song for this movement. Matthew West’s song illustrates exactly what I am jumping up and down about.
My mother told me that when she was a child in the middle of the great depression, people reached out and were supportive. Of course, at the time most people were struggling. The people who had “some” were so much better off than others that sharing with their neighbor seemed to be the only answer.
But, now, some of the rhetoric around poverty, homelessness, and addictions is incredibly dismissive of the real human circumstances and societal structures that contribute to these conditions.
Did we start looking to Big Government to take care of our neighbors while we look the other way? Did we just get weary of trying to change something that we didn’t have the force to make a big difference? Did the implementation of social programs take away our desire to help? Or, has it always been a part of human nature?
In the Bible, Jesus told about interpersonal reactions that mirrored societal attitudes. The parable of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:29-36) is where Jesus answers the question, “and who is our neighbor?” by showing a disdained stranger caring for an injured Israelite. That makes me wonder if ignoring the plight of the other has been part of our makeup for a long time.
I also love the little Vacation Bible School song that I learned as a child, “They will know we are Christians by our love”. I’d really like to live into that; wouldn’t you?