Anything, everything, and everybody is subject to the ‘one-up’ phenomenon prevalent throughout America. Even when it comes to the arena of poverty.
Haven’t you heard the conversations where one tells how poor they were only to have the other person ‘one up’ them and tell how much more poor he was.
I’m sharing because every conversation like this is not what it appears. For example, let me tell you about ‘my’ poor. I jokingly tell the true story about going to my landlord’s house to pay the months rent. It was very hard for us to get the money together but God helped us. When I got to my landlord’s house his wife was fixing vegetable soup for their supper.
It didn’t take her long before she started complaining about finding ‘good’ chunks of beef to go in her soup! She had gone to the grocery store but was just not happy with the selections. Bless her heart. I can remember when, as a child, mom would make vegetable soup. If she wanted meat to go in it she would pick up a pack of Carolina Pride wieners to cut up and throw in the pot! That was our meat in our vegetable soup.
So let’s use the topic of poor to grasp something else. My Father was born blind. He went to the school for the deaf & blind. Being blind prevented him from a chance at getting a job. Daddy was a bit proud and would not seek government help if he felt there was a way for him to earn a living or to at least make a personal effort and sacrifice toward gaining income.
So what dad began doing was going to shopping centers, mills, plants or anywhere that people gathered, find a place to sit down and play his guitar. People would donate their change and sometimes even their dollars. My older sister, myself, and my younger brother would all take turns standing with dad while we held a cup.
Dad was a beggar. We help. I’m not ashamed. I don’t feel like we were abused in participating in this effort. In fact, I find like a contributor to helping us as a family. I’m proud to know dad would humble himself. I’m sure he faced criticism for using them kids that way. He taught me to do what I can for my family. To take the initiative to provide and be a responsible human being.
My dad died over twenty one years ago. I have one of the cups we used.
My dad was given a great opportunity to have gainful employment. It worked for a little while until his boss decided to start another business.
By now you have discovered this blog is more about being responsible and working for yourself when you can than it is about being poor. Yeah we were poor, very poor. I bet there are those today who are more poor now than we were then. But thanks be to God who kept us safe, sheltered us throughout our days and brought us to a place where our independence rests completely on our dependence on Jesus, my Lord, the Holy Spirit, my guide, my teacher and God, my Heavenly Father whose love overwhelms me.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20 NASB)
Until the next time,