We Sure Talk The Talk!

Yeah, so I went to church today, the same church my recent post below warned you not to attend with me – at least not if you are homeless.  And I am stunned (yet again) at the talk we talk.  I mean our preaching is good – real good.  We even sang that song Reckless Love again.

Check out this lyric:

Reckless Love (Spontaneous)
Bethel Music

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it
And I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away

Songwriters: Caleb Culver,Cory Asbury,Ran Jackson
© BETHEL MUSIC PUBLISHING

How’s that for a praise-worthy description of the love God shows us?  Pretty good, don’t you think?

And so here I join the assembly where I am a regular member to sing these words AFTER leadership there tells me that we will not welcome the homeless from the streets and provide them care when it is cold, AND that my idea of how to help them actually does more harm than good.

So… How am I supposed to cope with this inconsistency?  The only thing I can figure is that this song keeps making the first-person, singular pronoun the blessed recipient of God’s reckless love, but it does not extend to the third-person, plural – THEM.  At least not if the THEM refers to the street homeless of Lubbock.  Yeah, we are incredibly selfish about this love of God stuff!

Are we really that shallow?  How can we sing this song with such passion, yet so firmly conclude that if we open the door to the poor (or even give a bum $5), then we are doing them harm?  God’s reckless love is good for ME and mine, but when it comes to the homeless, I better not show any of God’s reckless love!  I better not do the things Jesus actually said to do!  That would do more harm than good!

Wow!

It’s all too stupid to really be real.  But that’s us… where I go to church.

But then the sermon found evermore powerful ways of reiterating the very love the song speaks of.  Our preacher all but came out and said we should open our door to the homeless.  All but!  I mean he went to pains to describe the pains God/Jesus go to in showing their love for us, but he didn’t stop with us.  He went on to describe all kinds of otherwise undesirable people in undesirable circumstances of gross, immorality, drug or alcohol addiction, who are poor and unwanted in a dozen different ways AND how God loves them (us too) absolutely unconditionally, sacrificially, and unreservedly.

He even went on to question what outsiders think of our church!  What kind of people do we seem to be to those broken, undesirable people out there who pass by us?  Do they see us as judgmental?  Do they fear our rejection?  Do they think they would not be accepted by us???

He didn’t stop there.  He warned us that there is another part to this series of sermons yet to come in which he expects to make our church feel very “uncomfortable”.  He said he knows this because his preparations for this series have caused him great discomfort as well.

So… here I am singing like this, listening to a sermon like this, in a church that insists we cannot/should not/will not open our doors to the homeless when they are freezing to death.  A church whose leadership is neck deep in the When-Helping-Hurts ideal of definitely not being reckless or overly helpful.  A church whose leadership has specifically told me personally that my idea of ministry (the very idea we just sang and preached about) does more harm than good.

I think I am going crazy.

But I gotta hand it to us.  We sure can talk the talk.

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A Parable Appeal To Your Judgment

So this Christian family goes to the Premier Homeless Church and joins in the outreach work of ministering to the homeless.  They volunteer to chaperone homeless street people when the church opens the door to let them sleep inside on cold winter nights.  But then church leadership suddenly stops this practice claiming that keeping these people inside from the cold actually harms them.

But this Christian family also plays host to half a dozen foster children.  Foster kids are homeless too, so it makes sense that in all the homeless outreach this family does, they would open their own home to these vulnerable souls as well.

So anyway, this Christian family wants to do the right thing, and finding church leadership throwing homeless adults out of the facility to the cold of night and locking the door to keep them out, this Christian family does this to the foster children too.  All, of course, claiming that keeping them inside actually harms them.

I am sure any judge in this county, this state, or even the Supreme Court of the United States would totally understand this logic once it is all made clear on appeal.  Right?  Surely this family is doing the right thing.  Don’t you think?

Perhaps you should have a trendy debate on this at the trendy coffee house that supports this practice with the money they make off your latte.  I hear they host seminars at churches and universities where they shape the minds of young people entering the ministry professionally.  A coffee shop selling you books is making an appeal to your judgment too.

Don’t Come To Church With Me; You Aren’t Welcome There

That’s right.  You read it correctly.

I am thinking of the homeless particularly.  If you are rich, white, and smell good, I am sure you will be welcome, but if you are homeless, then you are not.

Yes, I actually checked on this.  I asked if we could host homeless people in our church and was told NO.  In fact absolutely not.

And, I was told that by insisting on this, that my idea of helping the poor actually does more harm that good.

I was told this by leadership people at my church!

So, don’t come to church with me!  Please… go to church, but not where I go.  We couldn’t possibly jack up church more profoundly unless we raped altar boys and held Grand Inquisitions.

No.  Find a church, alright, but find one that welcomes “the least of these” and thus welcomes Jesus.

Reimagine Charity With Jesus: How Jesus Instructs Almsgiving To Achieve Effective, Lasting Change

Yes!  Join Jesus Christ for his seminar coming to Lubbock, Texas this Fall on Effective Charity and instruction in how not to cause harm when helping the poor and less fortunate.  Come prepared for a round table discussion, and be ready to learn how Jesus feeds 5000 a fish for a day!  How he heals 10 lepers yet only 1 returns to thank him.  Find out how he tells a rich man to sell everything he owns, give it to the poor, consider his riches in heaven, and then come follow!  Hear Jesus tell his disciples to “Give to all who ask”.

Act now and we will throw in Mother Mary’s prayer as an extra added bonus just for reading your Gospel and notice she says that God fills the poor with good things and sends the rich away empty handed!

Yes!  This is giving alms THE JESUS WAY!

And God knows, when you see a bum on the side of the road, you want to care.  Don’t mess it up.  Show you care like Jesus!  You don’t want to harm people or put rice farmers out of business do you???

Open The Eyes Of Our Heart, Lord; We Want To See You

O Dear God, our Father,

On this drenching wet last day of Summer – first day of Fall, I ask You to be with every beggar, bum, and prophet on the streets of Lubbock who is not welcome in either Your House or mine tonight.  I ask You to be with them.  Give them Your hope, Your joy, Your peace, and Your comfort in full measure, and don’t delay, but come quickly in your power to save!

Yet to the extent that they suffer (as we know they do), I especially ask You to help them bear Your image in the world and be a ministry to the rest of us.  They don’t know how, and what little they do know, they resist.  And I understand that, because so do I.

But if we SEE YOU in them for who You really are, the impact that makes is immeasurable, invaluable, incomparable.

So, Lord God, I ask You to express Yourself through “the least of these brothers” (and sisters) – So that… at the sight of You in them, may the mountains bow low, the valleys stand at attention, and the crooked places straighten out like Isaiah told of in the days of old.  So that… at the sight of You in them, may the whole economy turn upside down!  Just shake it out on the ground and start it all over again, like You did using those beggars of old at the Gates of Samaria.  So that… at the sight of You in them, may Your Kingdom come and Your Will be done in Lubbock like it is in heaven!

It is for this purpose I devote these homeless friends to You:

Thomas, Mark, Jerry, Jason, Heather, Dennis, Ricardo, Ishmael, George, Belinda, Leo, Pedro, Sylvia, Charles, Autumn, Aaron, and Aaron, Andy, Dustin, and Justina, Jeremy, Damien, John, Gina, Jessica (and her friends from Denver), Alabama, Red, Bob from Denver, Erika, Rudy, Mike, Faith, Catman, Daniel, Daniel, Jennifer, Samuel and Jenny, Steve-O, Patty, James, May, Lee, Suzi, Matt, Mary, Tex, Ryan, Roadkill, Scarlett, Harry, Henry, Hank, Kate, Kathy, William Lee and Lucio, Johnny, Daniel Zapata Raul, Qurran, and that whole crew,  Trip, Melissa, Allison, Cassandra, Stephen, Sarah, Craig, Antwon and that whole crew, David, Tasha, Christina, Brenda, Ryan, Turk, Tony, Renee and Nikki and all of them, Jim & Happy, Michael, Etta, Daniel, Pete, Crystal, Dustin, Mike, Lee, Joe & Melissa, Mamma Jo, Cliff, Mamma DJ, Anna, Anica, GL, Veronica, Wendy, Kitty, Terry, Charlie Brown, Stephanie, Freddy & Latika (and their kids) and anyone else I can’t remember!

O Dear God, this is just a list of names – a token list of names.  But every name is a person I have met struggling to make it on the streets of Lubbock.  A few of them have died; some are in jail. A few have moved on to other towns, and a few have managed to get themselves off the streets.  Some I have not seen in years.

They are the “least of these” on the streets of Lubbock.  You know where they all are, where they lay their heads this cool, rainy season.  You care for them even more than me.  I can’t remember every person I ever met; You know every hair on every head!  I ask You to bless each one and make them to bear Your image and thus bless the rest of us too.

I too seek the place of shame, pain, and despair in my community so that I can bear the image of God there.  Like the others, I largely don’t know how.  What little I do know, I resist because it will hurt; it will cost too much; it will take too long; it will humiliate me – and a hundred other reasons!  Or maybe no reason at all…  After all I can be so fickle… so easily distracted.  And confessing this, I am driven to that garden to join Jesus in His most terrible prayer when He said, “Not My will be done, but Yours”.  And it scares me to talk to God like that, because I know how You answered Him.

But You are the one with the words of life.  Where else would I go?  And Your word tells me He endured the cross for the joy set before Him.  And I wanna know… WHAT JOY IS WORTH THAT?  And would you set it before me too?

Dear God, give me Your Spirit so that I can really live for You now and be raised to life in the Age to Come and join those beggars, bums, and prophets then and there whom You express Yourself through on the streets of Lubbock tonight.

And finally, O Lord, I pray that Your church open her eyes to see You, open her heart to love You, and open her doors to let You in to party with You when You knock.

Amen.

The Naked God (A Closer Look At Shalom)

Imagine this: Adam and Eve not eating the forbidden fruit.  What would our life be like then?

Have you ever tried to imagine it?

Before sin and death, the creation was “Good”.  In fact God holds Judgement Day seven times on the first week before he creates Sabbath (Gen. 1:3, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).  At each Judgment he returns the verdict: “It was good”, and the seventh time he says it is “Very Good” .  Through the Bible, we know a few things about that “good” world he made and about the people he made to live in it.  So let’s take our cues from Genesis for a start, and then from Jesus after.

Adam and Eve are made in God’s very image, male and female, he makes them (Gen. 1:26-27).  And they are naked.  Their male/female parts connect in holy, sexual nakedness!  This is the image of God – FULL FRONTAL!!!  No vision of him walking away as seen from the safety of the cleft of a rock (Exod. 33:17-23).  No, this is Genesis, and we get to really see God here.

So, yes.  Naked.  We need to get this straight.  In the beginning, they are naked and not ashamed (Gen. 2:25) – which makes sense because when you look at them, you see God!  They are his image bearers which among other things he pronounces ” Very Good”! (Gen. 1:31).  So why would they be ashamed?

In fact, God gives them rule and dominion over all the other creatures, which makes sense when you figure they bear his image.  Thus they are like spiritual mirrors reflecting the image of God back to God and out on all the creation too.  As long as both God and creation can look at them and see God, every creature knows its place in the shalom God makes.  It might make you uncomfortable from where you stand, but this is God’s shalom, and this is how he makes it.

But why naked?

This surely is a mystery.  The very first Apocalypse… God reveals himself as naked, vulnerable, and trusting beyond measure.  It actually seems rather counterintuitive in today’s world!

If I were a great master builder, and I built a vast home to live in, a home filled with marvelous and wondrous things and mysteries too great to contemplate and riches and glory beyond compare, I would NOT want to entrust it all to a novice.  I would want a very wise person (or group of wise people) to manage this masterpiece that I built.  And I would also look for security measures, thus I might deploy a staff of soldiers.  Point being: I would want someone (or a group of people) who were wise and strong, not naïve, vulnerable, and naked.

In fact, though nakedness sounds interesting to our sexual curiosity, which implies it is highly prized even today (Oh… come on!  Be honest.  Or else explain the massive rise of the porn industry!), I would note that nakedness – and especially sexual intercourse – is a vulnerable state in which to be.  Heaven forbid you ever suffer a home-invasion burglary, but if the invaders strike in the midst of love-making, then they exploit you at your most vulnerable moment!

Did I say God’s Apocalypse seems counterintuitive?

Well, that’s not all.

God sets out basically one rule.  Don’t eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:17).  (Talk about counterintuitive… He gives Israel Ten Commandments later after Adam and Eve prove they cannot handle even one!  And not only that, but I very purposely set out to teach my kids right from wrong!  So why does God seem against this???)  This certainly is a strange and counterintuitive command to place on the one creature you put in charge of all the marvels, wonders, and mysteries of creation.  After all, this creature lacks worldly wisdom and strength, and instead has an abundance of naked, vulnerable, trust!

Yes, it is counterintuitive by today’s standards, but the more wisdom and strength you have, the less naked, vulnerable trust you have.  And let’s note carefully, nakedness, vulnerability, and trust are the nuts-n-bolts of LOVE.

So what if Adam and Eve had chosen to LOVE God when faced with this temptation?  They would not have sinned.  And if they had not sinned, we (presumably) would not live in a “Fallen World” where we deal with fear, shame, pain, hate, and indifference.  There would be no death, but instead shalom.

Thus it seems we can biblically imagine Adam and Eve would still be here alive among us today, and we would be their children, all naked, vulnerable, and trusting God and one another completely and without reservation.  Just think of it!

Wow!

Perfect love with no lust even with all that nakedness???

Yes.  That is what we find in shalom.

There are many other facets of this to consider as well – implications we would not be out of line to consider.

Recall that God, in that “Good” creation, is fully visible in the male/femaleness of the lovemaking this married couple enjoys, and that to the extent that God is seen in this reflective creature, the rest of creation responds in subservience.  I can only imagine that when Adam and Eve cultivate the Garden of Eden where God places them, they must share passionate, apocalyptic love and the flowers bloom!  It certainly doesn’t involve weeds, thistles, and sweat of the brow.

Yes, we can speculate almost endlessly on the implications and possibilities.  I expect that when Jesus says “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27), we will do well not to get all reductionist. Nevertheless, we will strive to structure our image of a world in which Adam and Eve do not sin.  And one of the strongest cues I find for this exploration is St. Paul’s description of Jesus as “The Last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45).  Thus it would seem that whatever Adam had going for him, Jesus does too – only more so.  After all, Jesus did not sin!

Someone will say, “But Jesus wasn’t naked”.

You would be mistaken about that.

At the moment Jesus is raised up on a Roman cross with a crown on his head and a sign proclaiming him as king… he is completely naked as they shame him!  (Oh, that little loin cloth you see on Catholic crucifixes???  Yeah… the church put that there in a vain attempt to dignify this “Last Adam”, but I assure you, the Roman centurions did not!).  Yes, Jesus is just as naked at his coronation as the first Adam is at his, but even more vulnerable and trusting than the first Adam ever dreamed.  Thus Jesus, at Golgotha, supremely bears the image of God unparalleled in all of creation and rules it like God always desired in utterly naked, vulnerable trust.

I hope I have clearly demonstrated and established Jesus as thoroughly congruent with Adam (Don’t deny his humanity!) so that we can now continue our exploration into our biblical imagination – imagining life if Adam and Eve had not sinned.  Of course we would not have Jesus and the cross as part of that story IF in fact they had not, but since he is “The Last Adam”, he can help us to see what we missed all the same.

The first and foremost thing we see in Jesus is the Spirit’s anointing (Mark 1:10-11) which then raises him from the dead (Rom. 8:11) .  This is the same Spirit God blows into the first Adam’s nostrils when he forms him from dust (Gen. 2:7).  Subsequently, it is the same Spirit that blows like a mighty wind into the assembly of Jesus’ disciples after his ascension (Acts 2:2,4) and brings that body to life too!

But I particularly want to notice that the Gospels quote Isaiah the prophet when he says that at the sight of the coming God every valley will stand up at attention, every mountain will bow low, every crooked place will straighten out, and every rough place will smooth out in preparation for the image of God (Isa. 40:4-5), and the Gospels then apply this to Jesus.  It means that before sin and death come into the world, the first Adam experiences the subservience of the rest of creation like this!  We see Jesus walk on the water as well, and thus can reasonably conclude that the first Adam, bearing the image of God walks on water as well!  Disease flees his touch!  Water turns to wine!  The deaf hear; the blind see; and it is said that Jesus is able to enter a room without use of the door!  If the first Adam doesn’t do some of these things, it’s not because he can’t, but because it doesn’t come up at that time.  (Where is disease before “The Fall”?)

Such is the world ruled by LOVE – when the image bearer is true to his maker.  This is how it used to be.  I can only imagine that in the Age to Come these things are all mere child’s play.  The wolf lies down with the lamb, the leopard with the goat, the calf with the lion, and a little child will lead them!  (You might have read this stuff somewhere!!!)

So… Why do I bring all this up on a blog like this?

(Glad you asked.)

Well, for one thing, I surely hope you use your Christian imagination for what it was made to do.  But for another, because it has become vogue in resent years for people in outreach ministry to the poor and homeless to tell us to “seek shalom”.  And I really think that as far as that is stated as such, it is a good idea.  And if Adam and Eve had not sinned and brought curses and death into the world, we would live in shalom – shalom that would be characterized with the observations we have made here.

So it would be really odd, in that world, to find a person in need to begin with since all these naked, vulnerable, trusting people who would populate it would thus be bearing the image of God and experiencing the total and complete subservience of all of creation everywhere they go.  But if they did, I would expect these image bearing people would be utterly self sacrificial like Jesus (and thus like God) and bear the burden on behalf of this needy one as part of that image bearing vocation, and in so doing would find the shalom.

So it would be deeply mistaken to think these naked, vulnerable, trusting image bearers would be too quick to tell a bum to “get a job”.

Don’t you think?

Counterintuitive, huh???

Yeah.  The Naked God is like that.

 

Your Best Friend Stinks To High Heaven

His name was William, I think.  He had a brace on one leg that caused him to swing it out to the side as he walked, not bending at the knee.  Maybe he was just poor, from a poor family, I don’t know, but in the first grade, he was the kid who smelled.

I grew up moving a lot.  In fact I attended four different first grades.  I attended no less than seven elementary schools and two high schools as a kid.  There were so many that I have trouble remembering a lot of my friends, but I was in a unique position to learn that every class in every town has one or two kids who smell.  Usually it has something to do with being poor.

It’s funny to me now to think that William is the only kid whose name I recall from that first grade class so very long ago.  And I don’t recall people making fun of him, though I bet they did, but just that he stood out as “different” because of the leg brace (a little like Forrest, Forrest Gump) and his poor hygienic smell.  I found it easy to avoid him mostly.  At least that’s how I remember him.

By Jr. High, my dad was the preacher at our church in a small West Texas town, preaching, of course, and reaching out to lost sheep to bring them into the fold.  Evangelism in small West Texas towns doesn’t involve approaching strangers, generally.  However, at one point my mother loaded us kids up to go to church, but detoured along the way to stop and pick up a family living in a dilapidated house at the edge of town.  The smell of body odor overwhelmed the car quickly.

As surely you can imagine, the effort to include this family in the life of the church quickly focused on the delicate task of helping this family smell better and wear more presentable clothes.

My dad tells a similar story about his mother picking up a family to take to church when he was a kid.  That family was so poor, they burned tires to keep warm, which added to the smell that overwhelmed his family car on the way to church.

I surely don’t need to cite Scripture passages to you about how Jesus cares for the humble and lowly while challenging the rich.  Surely I no longer need to point out to you that he identifies himself personally with “the least of these” in a passage where he outlines the kind of treatment we give, the care we take, with such people determines Judgement for the Age to Come.

Do I?

I will ask you to consider whether you have friends that stink.

It’s not the only indicator you should consider, but it is a good one.

How many friends do you have who stink?  Do you bring one to worship with you?  When was the last time you sat with one when you got there?  Or did you avoid her???

Oh… you didn’t find such a person in the whole assembly???

Why not?

It’s a delicate thing to approach someone who stinks.  Isn’t it?

Yeah.  If you want to repel someone who stinks, just tell them they stink.  The shame will move them away from you – usually.  Yeah, it turns out your pride stinks to the humble!

But if you are willing to endure the cost of love and discipleship, you can make a dear friend of such a person.  It’s the kind of thing Jesus does.  It’s the kind of person Jesus is.

Wanna be friends with Jesus?  (Why would you get out of bed on a Sunday morning if you didn’t???)

Look at your Scriptures carefully.  Jesus attends a few high society galas alright (insert your church here), and gets into some sort of conflict there more often than not.  But he parties with the poor all the time.

Wanna find Jesus?  Your best friend?  Come Judgment Day???

He had a brace on his leg that made him walk funny.  He smelled bad, and his name was William… I think.  Hard to remember the first grade now, but on second thought, I think his name was Jesus.  I sure hope he remembers my name.  I sure hope he thought I was his friend.  I sure hope he doesn’t come to the Judgement to testify saying I was ashamed of him then and that now that he has come in Glory he is ashamed of me.

God help me!

 

 

Going Outside To Pray … For The Homeless

As I mentioned previously, I frequently start my day in prayers in my backyard.  Usually I go early, before the rest of the house stirs.  In the middle of Summer, some mornings I get there before dawn, some mornings not.  In the Fall, I arrive before dawn more often.

Fall is our wet season.  Sometimes we have rain, but a lot of mornings the grass is saturated from dew, and so a lot of mornings feel damp, and, of course, the temperature is cooler.

I live in town.  This is a long established build up area.  Point being, it is not dark here ever.  Not entirely.  But my back yard has a high fence, and there are trees and nearby homes all around.  In fact, my street is rather dark at night for a city street.  And what little light there is makes more light pollution than help in seeing where you are going.

I tell this because as I join my street friends in the great, urban outdoors (not join them as in physically present among them, but as in spiritually with them) I get a taste of how the night went for them.  I have spent many a night sleeping on cold concrete under “No Trespassing” signs or in the park after curfew.  (Ha!  I said “sleeping”.  Well I did sleep – some.)  And I always felt like the psalmist yearning for the dawn (Ps. 130:5-6).  But really, I just got out of a very nice bed in a very nice home to step into the disorienting dark, damp, and cold yard so I can pray – largely for my street friends.

It makes me think of the king who loved Daniel and raced to the lion’s den early in the morning (Dan. 6:19).  What did the king really expect to find?  What did the women expect to find at the tomb?  A stone blocking the entrance of the crypt where their friend lay dead?  The king does not expect there are any big pieces of Daniel left!  And yet the love in his heart compels him to race at dawn to his friend who has now completed his sentence!  And he finds a surprise of joy in the dawn of the new day!

Mrs. Agent X is developing our backyard.  There are lovely new flowers and shrubs planted everywhere.  She built a beautiful gazebo this year.  And the grass, though not manicured, is mowed.  Yes, our backyard is a lovely prayer garden.  It’s not some vacant lot behind a liquor store downtown.  No steam vents here.  But in my heart, I feel the king’s love as he races to the place he knows he last saw his friend.  I pray as a new day dawns that I will see Jesus today there in that lovely place.

But I pray that I see Jesus in the poor, in “the least of these”.  I specifically ask him to help them bear his image in our world today… to express himself through them and call all of us to himself afresh in their midst.  And thus to change our expectations of the dead to the surprise of joy at what we find when we mourn our deepest losses and he suddenly changes EVERYTHING!

Well, my coffee pot just clicked.  Time for me to go… pray.  I hope your day is blessed too.  Maybe you could join Us – me, “the least of these”, and Jesus – in that place of prayer you race to as well.  Maybe if enough of us find the surprise of joy and of life where we expected death, then the whole world will be compelled to join Us there and change EVERYTHING!

Wanna REALLY Help? Homeless People Need A HOME

I woke up early this morning, as I often do, to pray.  I start the coffee, check the headlines, and step outside to the backyard prayer-garden as a matter of routine.  And I notice that at 6 a.m., I sense a touch of Fall in the air anymore, which has me thinking of my friends on the streets.

And here I am waiting on coffee this morning and thinking about yesterday’s post about Johnny Bobbitt, and how all the help in that case went so terribly wrong as it appears that it turned into greed instead of help.  And I see a PSA on the TV that suddenly “says it all”.

Here is a link to what I saw:

A Meal!  Who knew a meal, a party could be so important???

Jesus knew, and tells us as much.  Look at Luke 14.

I am sure McClure and D’Amico thought, as so many in our world do, that money was going to fix Mr. Bobbitt’s problem, until they gave it second thoughts.  Then they feared it wouldn’t.  Then their contempt really came out.

The problem with giving money to the poor of society is not that it hurts them; it’s that it’s already corrupted the society.  In every case where the second thoughts about it doing harm, the ones doing the second thinking don’t see the money harming them, only those they hold in contempt.

But those you eat with, you value.

And that changes everything.

When Helping Hurt Johnny Bobbitt

I have not commented on the GoFundMe case before now, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed it.  Oh, I have.

For those few readers here who MIGHT be unfamiliar, here is a link:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/johnny-bobbitt-buys-home-fundraiser/

However, the story has morphed in recent months.  It turns out that McClure and D’Amico, who seem to have started this process of helping with such genuine concern and care, somehow got lost in all that money along the way.  Yeah, they looked at Bobbitt, the homeless addict who so selflessly gave all he had to help Miss McClure get gas for her car when it ran out, felt a huge burden to return the favor, raised more that $400,000 for Bobbitt, and THEN began thinking what a waste of money it would be to just put it all in the hands of this addict.  So, they began trickling it out on an AS-NEEDED basis, but over time they allegedly dipped into it for their own personal indulgences too.

All in an effort not to “HARM” Bobbitt.

Funny.  I can’t offer any direct evidence that giving to the major charitable organizations here in Lubbock translate into that kind of fraud, but there is plenty of evidence that over the years The United Way and other national/international organizations, despite how reputable they continue to be, have documented histories of similar fraud.

See this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Aramony

The money gets wasted either by the addicts on the streets or by the executive directors of these funds on exotic vacations, fine automobiles, and more.

And I am a first hand witness to the absence of such executive directors here in Lubbock’s local charity scene as they take multiple vacations, and I have seen new cars parked in the “reserved” spot.  So, you can imagine that I have my suspicions.  Not evidence that holds up in court, but there can be no doubt that the temptation is there to waste the money behind closed doors, and that lots of people in similar circumstances succumb to such temptations all the time.

So… if we are going to be so concerned about “When Helping Hurts”, why not focus our attention here on this kind?  Why are we so sure that a bum wasting $10 or $400,000 is a problem, but we don’t give more consideration to the theft, and thus waste and damage, done by the rich who claim that our giving directly to the poor is so wasteful and harmful?

This wouldn’t have anything to do with contempt, would it?