This quote applies to poverty’s child as it wrestles with poverty in body and spirit. Let’s spend some time with poverty’s child as we think about the larger question of what it means to be an ethical person in a world where compromised ethics is predominant in society.
Poverty’s child is everywhere
It’s in the young and in the old
The rich and the poor
You ask, “How can poverty be present in the wealthy?”
There is a greater poverty than those who live with hunger from lack of food;
it is not to be loved.
Addressing the issue of poverty itself is extremely important too,
There are millions upon millions of people who don’t have enough to eat.
That poverty exists when there is more than enough to feed the world is wrong.
Children with bloated stomachs dying from malnutrition is wrong.
Children missing meals because of their parent(s) being on a low income is wrong.
Men, women, teenagers, and children starving is wrong.
Poverty kills hope
Can be a slow death of any chance for happiness
A mother in North Bay, Ontario, Canada, having to decide to eat an apple or give her child a half
sandwich from a food bank is wrong.
A homeless person without a bed, without a home is wrong.
A child in Thailand sorting through a garbage dump for rotting meat to eat is wrong.
A young man in Kenya I know willing to work hard, denied a university education, is a waste of a fine mind, who wants to go back to Africa after he is educated and be a mentor to others.
He wants to give people skills in running their own business so they can escape poverty
Not suffer like he has with seeing his parents, his brothers and sisters have to skip meals
Feeling blessed if they have one meal in a day
A mother in Mozambique holding her dying child in her arms, just skin and bones from malnutrition, praying for God to be merciful and let her child die – it brings tears to my spirit.
Those sold into sexual slavery victims of human trafficking so a poor family can survive is cruel.
Those crying out for a helping hand out of their poverty need to be heard much more by community and government.
We need to ask ourselves, “How would we like to be treated if we were in their situation?”
We are all children in the eyes of God
We can lose our way
Compromise our ethics first in small ways then large focusing on being accepted
Not wanting to rock the boat
Sacrifice our principles to not lose our position
Become that which we hate most
See the reflection of our character in someone else who doesn’t know
who he or she is any longer
We can have the outward appearance of doing the right thing
Inwardly though we are conflicted
That which defines us as people gets smothered
Ideals get harder to hold on to
In that sense also we can be poverty’s child
Poor within ourselves
Knowing the truth
Not wanting to be the lone voice crying out against the injustices we see
Lacking the courage to say wrong is wrong
Realizing there will be opposition when you speak up for those who are being treated unjustly
Those who are suffering from hunger, from lack of opportunity
Those who are physically and developmentally challenged
Those who are denied by governments the medications they need for either quality or quantity of life
Those who don’t represent the people they have been entrusted to speak up for in order not to lose funding for their organizations
It is in not being true to one’s sense of self direction and purpose can get lost in the fog
The way to that which is right can become cloudier, harder to see.
What can you do to change if you are poverty’s child?
You can remember when you stood up for what is right, and do it.
You can risk losing everything to gain back your identity.
You can dare to lose the life you knew to find the one God wants for you.
It will be extremely difficult.
It will take time to adjust to the change.
You will cry, be angry along the way at those who hurt you.
Waves of sadness will come over you.
You may find yourself believing you have healed from your inner suffering only to discover
you have much more healing to do.
I urge you not to become stuck in the grieving.
Forgive those who have wronged you for yourself
For your own good
For your physical and mental health
Please don’t allow times of rage or an emotional numbness to consume you.
Be real with those you trust about how you are feeling inside.
Let the tears come.
Let them come.
They are the droplets of God’s love for you.
Healing comes from them.
Healing from being worn down in mind, body and spirit
Healing from feeling lost in your daily life
Healing from being depressed
The healing that flows from your wounded heart so God can mend it
Please get professional counseling to deal with any unresolved anger
Don’t build emotional walls around yourself that keep supportive family, friends, and colleagues out
Don’t sink into a black hole where those who love you can’t reach you.
If you have thoughts of committing suicide, please call your local crisis line.
If your community doesn’t have one go immediately to your nearest hospital.
Confide in your doctor.
You are loved by many people even if you don’t always see that truth clearly.
The loss of a job or social status isn’t worth your life.
Life is a gift from God.
It isn’t worth wasting because of the bullish tactics of others that made you feel this way.
Every breath you breathe is a gift.
Every beat of your heart is a gift.
Ask God that you be made willing to forgive.
Forgive those who hurt you as Christ forgave your sins.
He took upon Himself all the sins of the world to the cross.
Bruised, bloodied, beaten, rejected, ridiculed and despised by those who had lost their way
The Christ who had the courage to love and forgive those responsible for His death
Betrayed by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver
Crucified by those who had given up their principles to be accepted, rich, loved, valued
The Christ who cried out to God, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
It could be a long time before God will give you strength to pray for those who harmed you.
We all get it wrong,
We all lose our way at one time or another.
We all blow it.
We all need to be forgiven for how we hurt others with our words or actions.
You will have a time of grieving the loss of the life you had,
transitioning to what will be the new normal for your life.
You will have people both love and hate the new you.
You will be criticized.
You may be ostracized.
What you gain back though will be far much more.
You will be able to look yourself in the mirror because you didn’t remain silent about
the things that matter.
You will no longer be poverty’s child.
Because you have changed into something far more beautiful
The person who God intended you to be
Think of something else that would bring joy to your life
A dream you have that will be a lot of fun to realize
Go after it
Pursue it with passion
Allow yourself the gift of being a much more joyful you
You will become a rich child.
You will have a deeper compassion for those who suffer
You will transform like a caterpillar from its cocoon becoming a butterfly.
You will no longer be poverty’s child.
An uplifting and comforting peace will flood your soul
Poverty’s child will have come in from the cold of being a lost soul
Singing a new song of love, peace, and joy
Dr. Kevin James Osborne, Psy D., D.Sc., D.D., is the Vice-President of Institutional and Mission Development for St. James the Elder University. He feels God is leading him to study more about theology, music, writing, and counseling. Karen is a counselor and a writer. Our mission field is wherever God puts us for His glory.