When I first started learning about the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself mentality, my spirit grabbed it. I mean, I was really excited. I said, “This is it!”
But then when God started teaching me about poverty, I really started digging. I’ve been researching poverty ever since. Poverty is a whole world of interconnected causes and consequences. The more I learned, the more I understood poverty’s complications, and the more I understood how people get trapped in it. And I could feel myself shifting.
I used to look at a homeless guy and say, “Man, you know what, how about you just go get a job. Shave, and go get a job at McDonald’s. It’s not that hard.” That’s how I used to look at it. I had no compassion. Continue reading
I think a lot of different things happened to raise my awareness of the problems of poverty and injustice. For one thing, I started hanging out with Mike King. He’s trying to do a new kind of youth ministry, so I hang out with him because I like to see how he’s training young people. One of the things he’s trying to do is help kids understand what’s going on in the world. He introduced me to the Feed the Hunger program, and when I read about human trafficking in the newspaper I asked him what he knew about the Not For Sale Campaign.
As I started learning about problems like hunger and slavery, I started reading more about them. And when I did that, the suffering of these people grabbed my heart.
Also, I have a little boy now, and I’m feeling this strong fathering instinct. I’ll do whatever it takes to be sure he’s fed. I feel this powerful sense of compassion, and I want to make sure my family is safe. I really feel for the people that are trying to do whatever it takes and they still can’t feed their children. That would be devastating to me. Like I said, it grips my heart.
I’ve been over to a teenage homeless shelter, and I learned a lot of things. Continue reading