We need the poor

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
Deuteronomy 15:11


We think the poor need us.
Maybe they do.

But we also need the poor. . . .

We need cause to war evil.
We need reason to qualm fear.
We need openings to share riches.
We need perspective to temper greed.
We need compassion to divide suffering.
We need conscience to awaken justice.
We need humility to slaughter pride.
We need yearning to slay excess.
We need vision to invest hope.

We need Jesus to be love.

We think the poor need us.
Maybe they do.

But we also need the poor. . . .

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3

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Church, where are we?

24 thoughts on “We need the poor

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      So thankful God keeps giving us a new day full of those compassions each morning we wake up. I want to awaken to him more and more. I appreciate your encouragement to maintain that vision, Linda. You’re a blessing.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Andrew. And see them as ourselves. We all are poor in different ways; we all are rich in different ways. But all of us have worth to God, and we need to value each other as such.

  1. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! What a wonderful illustration of the Gospel message. Sometimes people will share with me their confusion over this passage. Why should there always be poor among us? I now have another arrow for my quiver of words to explain the passage.

    And the poor are not always who we think they are. There are many neighbors of ours who are poor in their spirits, poor in their attitudes…we all need each other to be Christ .
    Wonderful read today Lisa, thank you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re so right, Ceil–the poor aren’t always who we think. It’s not necessarily those with dirty clothes and old cars. I’ve known “poor” people who have been quite wealthy by the world’s standards, and vice-versa. We all need Christ to meet us in our poverty.

  2. Nancy

    My heart is burdened for the children from Central America. I think they may be sent here to test our compassion, our Christian love that we claim to have.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I am very burdened by these children too, Nancy. I have friends who live in El Salvador and I know they live with so much fear from the “maras” (gangs). They want to come to the U.S., but I have to advise them of the many, many dangers in doing that, with no assurance at all of the positive “dream” outcome that many think will happen. It’s such a tough situation and I don’t know how to make it better. I pray, but even in that I feel helpless. 🙁

  3. Sharon

    What a beautiful message, Lisa. We are truly following Jesus’ example when we “give a cup of water to the least of these.” And I have learned much about the gift of gratitude from those who are less fortunate than I am. May we ever seek out the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor – for in these faces, we can touch the heart of God.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I always walk away feeling very grateful for what I have (and sometimes even guilty, to be honest) after working with the poor. I know God has many lessons he wants to teach me through them, including my need to be a funnel to them for the blessings he’s passing along to me first.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s right, Floyd. Christ modeled how to be compassionate not only in word but also in deed. A tough act to follow. 🙂 But nonetheless, he is our perfect model.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      True. Those who have “been there” are the ones who can empathize the most. And even when we can’t fully understand, if we’ll listen to the ones who are being personally affected, we will learn better what help to give.

  4. Dianna

    I just finished reading Kisses from Katie so I can relate to this post extremely well, Lisa. The whole issue of, “Church, where are we?” has been on my heart for a long time. My prayer is that as He brings me into the lives of the “poor”, whether it be poor of wealth or poor of spirit, that they might see Jesus and hunger for Him…and that they would be filled because He loves them enough to work through me. May He always find me willing …always. Hugs, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Isn’t Katie amazing? I read that book a few months ago myself, and was awed at how open she is in surrendering her life to God in however he chooses to use her. Her level of sacrifice is astounding.

      That’s a beautiful prayer, Dianna. I’m thankful the Lord can use wherever he has us if we’ll have that kind of open heart. Thanks for being such a great example of someone always seeking to love God and love others.

  5. June

    Wonderfully thought-provoking post, Lisa. Those who are poor in material things need us, and in turn they help us to be poor, humble, of heart. I love the point Ceil made, the poor are not always who we think they are. So true! If we truly wish to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we need to open our eyes to the conditions of the heart, not just the living conditions. Have a blessed week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good point, June: open our eyes not only to the outward conditions, but the inward ones as well. We definitely need God’s vision and heart for that. Thanks for sharing this.

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