Not The Only Solution

April 8, 2011

Last night, I was glancing through my twitter stream and I saw a particular blog post was being re-tweeted at a high frequency. The author was @hughlh (known in real life as Hugh Hollowell) and he tweets things like:

To look at my twitter followers, you would think I was Presbyterian. (Not that there is anything wrong with that…)

Anyway, I was wondering what was up with all the re-tweeting, so I clicked on the link in another friend’s tweet. The post on his site is called “What Can The Church Do To Eliminate Homelessness?” and you should go read it now. It struck a chord with me.

The post ends this way:

The question we really want to ask, but nobody has the guts, the cajones, or the simple intestinal fortitude to ask is

“How can the church end homelessness – and yet keep all of this? “


We can’t.

That’s a hard truth for me to swallow.

As a Church, we spend a lot of time asking questions like how can we end homelessness/the AIDS epidemic/the war in Darfur/child slavery/the exploitation of women?
But the truth is, at the end of our question, there’s always an implied “…and yet keep all of this?” Of course we want social justice! Of course we want to end poverty! Of course we care about widows and orphans–as long as it doesn’t mean giving up all the justice, riches and family we enjoy!
I’m just as guilty. I wrote the other day about how I’m throwing up my hands about gas prices. A woman stood in front of me needing gas. I mentioned that our church sometimes is able to help people in need, but what about me personally? Yes, sometimes I do personally help the people I meet in or out of the church who need help. Depending on the situation, I’ve shared food, items or cash with people in need–and Jason and I do give to the church’s benevolence fund.
If I had cash to pay our utility bill in my purse and a young mother came in needing cash to pay her utility bill, I would feel bad for her and I would pray for her and I would give her a list of resources and places to call, but I won’t go pay her utility bill instead. I want to help her, but not at such a great personal cost. Jason and I don’t make enough money to pay two utility bills and if I pay hers instead of ours, I’ll be the one calling the places on that resource list.

Tomorrow, the Youth Group will teach the Kids’ Club children the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 (Luke 9:10-17). The Disciples were perfectly happy to send the crowd away when they got hungry. Jesus didn’t allow for that. The Disciples were hungry themselves and didn’t want to be bothered by the hunger and needs of the masses. But Jesus had another way: “You give them something to eat,” He commanded/suggested.
So, I ended my last entry this way: “I’m praying for people who are going without today because they have no choice. It’s the only solution I have right now.”

It should read: “…It’s the only solution I’m personally willing to allow for right now.” Because it’s not the only solution and it’s not the solution to which Jesus calls the Church or the Disciples.