This afternoon I was talking to one of my classes about our upcoming field trip to Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit. As I was explaining, a student sighed in exasperation and groaned, "I don't want to help poor people."
I was absolutely furious when he said that. But as I sat quietly stewing, watching my students type away, another thought began to seep into my mind. I remembered something my wise father once said to me: "The things that upset us most about other people are often rooted in something we dislike in ourselves." And I realized, that in his immature, self-absorbed comment - I saw myself. Arms crossed, rolling my eyes, sighing, complaining:
I don't want to help poor people.
And it broke my heart and infuriated me.
How can we claim to have a relationship with Jesus, and yet not want to break out of the comfort of our middle-class homes? How can we not see that "poor people" are our brothers & sisters? How can I look through my closet at my abudance of clothes and whine that I have "nothing to wear"? How can I turn up my nose at everything in my kitchen cupboards because I'm "not in the mood" for anything I have?
How can we be so abundantly blessed and not be eager to share in the suffering of others?