“Lord, please help me see these people the way You do.”
What a dangerous prayer.
I often like to hide behind walls and let my own prejudices get in the way when it comes to the poor. However, when it comes down to it- they are my brothers and sisters.
This morning at WeCare (think soup kitchen and free store in a parking lot)I saw a whole bunch of people who deserve better. I saw a group of sisters- no more than 12 years old in line with their little brother. They were waiting for lunches. It was clear that they loved each other very much but they were trying hard to stay afloat. I saw a woman who desperately wants to see her children but her children don’t want to see her. Both her daughters are in foster care and they live on reserves far away. Whenever I ask her how her daughters are she simply replies- “they need prayer.” I saw men without hope at their wits end ashamed of their circumstances. There’s not a lot of jobs these days and it’s impacting everyone.
Things got a little heavier when the food ran out and there was still dozens of people in line. The thing that bothered me the most were the people in line who weren’t disappointed- they seemed to expect it. Their faces said- now this, what next? All I could think was: they deserve better. After being on the brink of tears all morning I realized why this Sunday was different from every other one- I had asked God to show me what He sees when He looks at these people. I saw talented, intelligent people who are losing hope. My brothers and sisters deserve better.
Those siblings deserve a safe place to play, food on the table and a society that does not reject them because of their race. That woman deserves all the support she needs to get back on her feet and be a mother her daughters can be proud of.
One man, a friend of mine named Rocky, asked me to pray for the community of Atiwapiskat. The community is currently undergoing a suicide crisis. Eight year old children are killing themselves. They deserve hope. They deserve a future that doesn’t look so bleak. We’ve failed them.
I don’t think I can reconcile myself with phrases like: “It’s in God’s hands” and “All we can do is pray.” I think we can do a lot more than pray. Things are in God’s hands and prayer is paramount but I often hide behind those lines so I don’t have to deal with the shame of doing nothing. Faith without deeds is dead, if you see a need fill it, love your neighbour as yourself- we say these things daily but rarely act on them. We cannot sit idle as eight year olds kill themselves. The poor matter. They deserve better than this.
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field.”
“Love one another as I have loved you.”