Today, I was reading the Humans of New York site that I've mentioned before. The Facebook page is here and includes comments. The photographer, writer and owner of the site (Brandon) is traveling in Pakistan this month. It is not a place I am interested in at all but when the ordinary people get a chance to talk, I find myself being very interested. One of the people interviewed is a young woman who is a member of the local worker's party. I don't like Communism but in this case the young woman and the other members of her party are working to help the poor people in their area to resist evictions. I know you also see terrorist groups helping the poor to get a foothold and even drug cartels and mobsters will make a big show of being helpful to their neighbors. Is this benevolence given freely or is there an ulterior motive? Only time can tell but in most of these cases, it is meant to get popular support and to mask other activities they would rather not be known. This has gone on for ages. But when no one else will help desperate people, who do they turn to? If the government has turned its back on you and the people with power are taking advantage of you, what choices do you have? If no one else will listen to you, where do you turn for help?
It's easy to complain about the in-roads made by groups that ultimately want to destroy. But if a young person is rejected by their friends and family and someone on the street offers to listen and help, you have to acknowledge that it is the fault of the people they first knew. We can prevent these groups from getting new recruits and we can keep the drug pushers and pimps from taking away our young but it's not easy. It means loving your neighbor. It means not worrying so much about our own situation and how we can get even more than we already have. It means sharing what we have and what we know with people who may not deserve it. Out neighbor may not be a very nice person and may not appreciate what we're doing. But if we don't do it, there are despicable groups waiting for the chance to pick up the pieces.
If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:17-18 NLT
There is nothing new here. You and I know all this stuff. It's just that today, I was reminded of it and, I hope, I have also reminded you, too.