I read a blog post the other day that I want to share with you. It’s titled Why I Stopped Serving the Poor, and it was written by Claudio Oliver of Curitiba, Brazil. His grandparents founded the Salvation Army in Brazil.
“Without exception, rich and poor have the same conviction that what they need is something that the market, money, the government or some other agency can offer them.”
I don’t remember how I stumbled across his post, but I do know it rocked me to the core. And it’s a pretty timely subject since Saturday is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
“The only way to remain with the poor is if we discover that we are the miserable ones. We remain with the poor when we recognize ourselves, even if well disguised, in him/her who is right before our eyes. When we can see our own misery and poverty in [the poor], when we realize our own needs and our desperate need to be saved and liberated, then and only then will we meet Jesus and live life according to His agenda.”
Pretty much every word I read resonated deeply within me. It was refreshing to hear a Christian talk in such a counter-cultural way about poverty.
“Jesus doesn’t have any good news for those who serve the poor. Jesus didn’t come to bring good news of the Kingdom to those who serve the poor; he brought Good News to the poor. He has nothing to say to other saviors who compete with him for the position of Messiah, or Redeemer.”
The thing that struck me most was the author’s humility. He speaks about his own journey with a transparency that gives credence to his words.
“Over the years I’ve discovered that the very position of serving the poor from a commitment to “liberate” them, has been filled with a sense of superiority.”
I have been racking my brain for days trying to come up with a way to get you interested enough to read the post. After many abandoned attempts, I decided to just take the direct route.
You should read the article, Why I Stopped Serving the Poor. I promise … it will be worth your time.
“I have given up on serving the poor. I’m going back to encountering the poor and finding myself in them.”