Should I Bring Jesus to the Poor?

I met this young lady who works for an inner city organization that works with children. She has been working there for 10 years. She said one thing in particular that really struck me. She said, "I used to think that when I came to the inner city to work with these kids that I would bring Jesus to them, but when I got here and started working with them, I started to realize that Jesus was already here."
It struck me because I think that we middle class people (not just Christians) think that we should go into the inner-city and "rescue" people from their situation. We often feel as though we have all the answers and they have everything wrong. Is it possible that it is the other way around? Is it possible that people who live on the streets...those who don't worry about tomorrow, those who are not obsessed with money or material possessions actually have something to teach us? I think so.
So in response to the question, "Should I bring Jesus to the poor?" My answer would be a resounding, "NO!" Jesus is already there, let's go and find him, let's walk alongside people, maybe I have something I can offer them, maybe they have something they can offer me...we can learn from one another.

Check out the story of the Good Samaritan or the Sheep and the Goats from the bible for more on what has driven my thoughts on this. I think that by telling the Good Samaritan story, Jesus was saying something like, "those people you hate and look down on - the Samaritans - have something to teach you."


Cal said...

At our Rotary Club meeting one of our members asked for us to bring in clean blankets or slightly used sleeping bags so he could bring them to the tent community under the bridge where the homeless live. He noted that although we may not be able to understand why some people choose to live this way, we can still love them like Jesus would.

You are right on in your blog today. Jesus is already there and it is nice when we can catch up with him and help.

roverT said...

Thanks, I agree. I don't think that the first thing that comes out of our mouth, should be, "why did you choose this?" The first thing that should happen is compassion...judgment is easier though.