Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.
I’m late to the party – I’m quoting a U2 lyrics that’s now seven or eight years old, but man if it didn’t wreck me this morning. I’m an American, a Texan, a white male, a Christian. The total blessed package. I’ve never wanted for food. I’ve never wanted for shelter. I’ve never wanted for clothing.
The things I’ve always wanted for are things that I don’t need.
This is all of us though, right? If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably not homeless on the street, and this is why the song brought me to tears. There are an estimated 143 to 210 MILLION orphans in the world and everyday 5,760 MORE children become orphans. Let that settle in for a moment. This is just orphans. This does not include the millions and billions born into extreme poverty. The millions and billions that will never be given the same chance you and I have.
What’s worse is that in our own country, in our neighborhoods are children and families suffering. Children born to illegal immigrants, children born to teenage mothers. There is pain, there is suffering here in America. This isn’t just the plight of Africa, or India. This is plight of all mankind. This is the plight of a country that feeds on its young through commercialism. We cannot sit, I cannot sit, and watch the world turn its back on people because of how they look or where they’re born.
We are not beholden to who we were and we cannot hold people to who they were. Christ demands love through all. Christ demands we treat all as we want to be treated. We must take hold of the underprivileged. This is not politics. This is not socialism. This is doing the gospel. This is the gospel – that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Christ saw us as his own, as people in need of redemption. So why do we find it so hard to offer the same to those around us?
Why am I more concerned with my cracked cell phone screen than the hurting kids at my son’s elementary school? We’re all guilty of wrapping ourselves in the American flag and ideals that say – more is better, more is good. We cannot allow this perverse thought to permeate how we live and affect our souls. We must view people as Christ. We must do more for each other or we lose ourselves in the end.
This week is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and I cannot help but think Dr. Martin Luther King understood this aspect of the gospel. He knew that just because he was a black man in the South did not mean he deserved the treatment given to him by the government and fellow men. The Million Man March was a clear and beautiful picture of people demanding equality for all, not the few, not the privileged, all.. This same hope, this same power must translate to all of us so that we give a voice to all. A hope to all. A life to all.