Holy Week is almost upon us. For those of you who are secular and may not know, that’s the week that falls between Palm Sunday and Easter. It’s a time for solemnity and devotion. It’s a time for reflection and even traditions.
This time of year, I am always reminded of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when my mother introduced me to that particular Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical, but I can recall her playing her old vinyl records on the family stereo when I was a child, singing along to the lyrics. I have fond memories of playing that record over and over again during the weeks leading up to Easter, memorizing each and every part myself.
I’ve seen three different versions of the musical throughout my life and each one stuck with me in a different way. But that is a tangent for another day and another blog, if ever I get to writing it.
Any who. Time to get to the point!
The other day I was reminded of the scene portrayed in the song “Everything’s Alright.” Mary tries to sing Jesus to sleep and cools him down, anointing him with perfumed oil. Judas Iscariot, frustrated that things aren’t going the way that he possibly imagined them to be going and probably feeling hopeless at the turn of events, points out the expensive perfume could have been sold instead and the money given to help the poor (and coincidentally, his own wallet since he embezzled the purse). Jesus turns and looks at him and says this:
“Surely you’re not saying we have the resources to save the poor from their lot? There will be poor always, pathetically struggling. Think of the good things you’ve got.”~ credit goes to Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
I have heard of people using the Bible verses which inspired that lyric to create an excuse that since there are always going to be poor people, they don’t have to help those less-fortunate because Jesus commanded it. But what some may not realize is that Jesus was quoting a verse from the Old Testament when he made the statement. It was a verse all of them were likely familiar with:
“Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”~ Deuteronomy 15:11 (New Revised Standard Version, Updated Edition)
There will never cease to be those who need help. Think of the good things we have here now.
Like Judas, perhaps we feel frustratedly helpless. Because of the injustices of this world, the poor will always be poor. Some will be able to gain a foothold into wealth and fortunes, but there will always be others to take their place. Greed causes imbalances of wealth. Those who have often look down upon those who do not have, judging their movements and scrutinizing their purchases with magnifying glasses. Social programs meant to help are often the first cut in times of trouble. Belts are tightened, money is grasped tighter, and others are left to shoulder the weight of the misfortunates. The insecurities of the world leave many feeling hopeless as more and more seek aid.
But there is hope yet. Like The Tale of the Starfish, we may not be able to help everyone who comes across our path, but we can make a difference to some. And whether you are a social justice warrior, a altruist, and/or someone who believes in a higher power, charity is something that is good to practice. You never know when you will need the help yourself.
Be kind to strangers. Offer up your surplus to someone in need. Give to your favorite charity. Find a way to gift a struggling family. Donate money, needed goods, or even your time to a food bank.
We aren’t meant to know every detail of every story of those we come across, but may we be willing and able to alleviate the woes of others as much as possible. Even as there will be poor always, there will always be hope, love, joy, peace and magic if we know where to look. For that is as much a part of our story as anything else.
There will be poor always.
Look at the good things you’ve got.
**And the photo credit is from the Norwalk Area Ministerial Association (NAMA)’s Warrior Giving Project from 2022 – photograph was taken by Pastor Travis Stanley at Norwalk Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). NAMA is a local charity the other half and I help with as often as we can.**
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6 thoughts on “There will be poor always…..”
Beautifully said! Sometimes its the smallest things that make the biggest difference to someone else 💞💞💞
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And so true. I know, when the other half and I were struggling, it was the smallest things that sometimes made our day and helped us find the light at the end of the tunnel. I try to pay it forward as often as I can.
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Well said !!!!