James 2:6 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
I came across this photo on Matthew Paul Turner’s website earlier today;
It utterly rocks me to my core and pisses me off, because I have been there before. I have been in this woman’s shoes where the church I was a part of threw some Bible verses and something about God in the mix…and that’s it! No social justice where I needed it, no comfort and certainly no love. I am speaking to myself first and foremost in this, because there have been times where I have applied God as a band-aid where stitches and social justice were required, I have made God cheap and my excuse NOT to help someone in need.
So seeing the self-hypocrisy in me with this Facebook interaction between a woman who is in need and quite possibly the church she was going to (I wonder if she’s still attending, and part of me hopes she did the wise thing and leave – this church as well as her fiance). The woman does point out she “needs prayers” but she also says she needs “help” as well, her help is quite evident and yet this church just pours acid on this woman’s open wound which is already infected, then they wrap it up with a horrible maggot infested cherry on top; “Here’s a bright spot before you go to bed for the night: You didn’t miss Summer of Revival! Hope you can make it tomorrow night for prayer & worship.” Or as translated by me; you’re life is shitty but we’re not going to help you out, feel free to come to us because we certainly aren’t going to help you out, oh and come to our event at church tomorrow night.
In my mind and my heart I am slightly worried, what she described about her circumstances could result in a physical altercation between her fiance and her, what if “tomorrow night” she’s dead because of the guy?
What if there was no tomorrow for this woman because of her fiance? What if there was no tomorrow for her sons?
Life is tough already, life does not need to be made even more tough by followers of Christ who don’t heed the call of tangible social justice. As Brennan Manning so eloquently put it;
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle, that is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
How can we truly show the love of God when we deny Him and others in our lack of caring for each other? No wonder we’re looked at as being hypocrites when we truly don’t help out those in need, but rather we slap “God” on the situation and consider our work to be done.
If this woman was a member of my church and I knew what was going on I would help her and her boys escape the clutches of her fiance and the church, because no one should be put through such bullshit and unChristlike treatment.
I hope that in time I am financially capable to put people up when needed, because I know what it’s like not to receive such help; I know what it’s like to try to sleep in the backseat of my car in the winter time and it’s cold out as well as inside, I know what it’s like to go hungry. I’ve been the one rejected by church people who heard my plea for help and did jackshit. No one should be put through such hardships alone especially if the body of Christ knows what goes on and does nothing, and so it begins with me, the change I want to see begins with me.