Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 

Saturday
Dec132014

ARE YOU THE FATHER?

Our friend, Charlene Robinson, was about due, and she asked if I would drive her to University Hospital when the contractions started. I was honored to do so. To understand the events, you need to know that Charlene was African-American, very dark, and I am European-American, medium tone.

When she felt the labor pains, she phoned me at one a.m. I dressed, drove to her apartment, and then to the hospital. Between contractions, Charlene joked. I found this amazing. When Margaret experienced pain—or any strong emotion—joking was impossible for her and dangerous for me.

At the emergency entrance, I found a wheelchair and took Charlene in. An orderly took the chair from me and wheeled her through the swinging double doors.

Not knowing what to do next, I sat down and leafed through a magazine. The receptionist wiggled her hand, signaling me to approach the desk.

“What’s the patient’s name?”

“Charlene Robinson.”

“Address?”

“Oh, let’s see. She’s in the one-hundred block of East Liberty. Must be about 110 or 112, third floor back.”

“Date of birth?”

“I dunno. She’s in her thirties.”

“Place of birth?”

“Louisville, Kentucky, I think.”

“Social Security number?”

“No idea.”

“Blood type?”

“Dunno.”

“Are you the father of that baby?”

“No ma’am, I’m just the driver.”

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Purpose of this blog is to compile several books for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright  ©  2014 by Jack Towe

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