Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a huge gap

     The irony is intense; an affluent, beautiful western couple posed in all their expensive Gap fashion glory blazoned on a billboard over one of the poorest neighborhoods in our town.  These shanties line the river, and when the tide is low, the children play in the mud along the banks.

These children aren't wearing Gap jeans.  One pair would cost an entire 3 months of wages.

     The clash of East meets West, poverty meets wealth is common in this city of contrasts.  A fancy brand new mall is flanked by tiny makeshift food vendor stalls fabricated with cardboard, flapping tarps and tin.  On another street a gorgeous new mansion of an apartment building looms a literal stone's throw away from a squatter's shack featuring a mud floor and no electricity or running water.  Zoning is unknown.  Rich and poor live side by side, in stark contrast across a huge invisible gap.

     But I know that there's another bigger gap.  A bigger disparity than the amount of money neighbors may have in their pockets.  There's a greater poverty, and a greater wealth than the financial one you can see here.  And there is no zoning for this huge gap in the U.S. either.  No zoning for those who, because of Christ's poverty, have become rich in grace.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that though He was rich, 
yet for your sake He became poor, 
so that you by His poverty might become rich.  
2 Corinthians 8:9

Do you, like me, live next door to poverty?
And how might God desire to use us to narrow the gap?


Kay @ The Church Cook said...

What a photo to contrast the two worlds? Your questions and post is heart provoking.... thank you.

Sherrey said...

Amazing comparison, and contrast, of our two worlds, and worlds within our cities. Yes, I live near the poor, the homeless, and the children who have no fancy jeans or shoes. Our pastor spoke on Sunday about how these individuals are equated in our society today to the lepers of old -- untouchables. People walk by and they don't see them.

I'm happy to say that our congregation has joined hands with a couple of shelters to assist with preparing and serving meals, and within the last year we have partnered with a larger group in our city to assist homeless individuals as they transition back into housing. We offer congregational meals and games with them in our facility 2-3 times/year, and we include them in our annual Thanksgiving dinner. It brings joy to our hearts to be able to do this.

Thanks for a timely post!

us5 said...

even Elise approved of my photo of this contrast! :) thanks for coming by, Kay!

us5 said...

thanks for taking time to respond, Sherrey! how encouraging to hear the ways your church is reaching out right where you are. thanks for sharing the story!