Whoever is deaf to the poor person’s cry will not be heard
when he himself cries out.
Proverbs 21: 13
Listening to the stories of the poor is one of the blessings I have received here in Honduras.
Not only do they talk about their needs, but they often share their joys and their deep sense of God’s love in their lives.
I truly believe that a Christian life without direct contact with the poor, in some way, is very difficult, because we don’t have the opportunity to hear their joys as well as their sorrows. We miss how God is intervening in their lives and how we can be with them as they seek to respond to their needs.
Yes, help the poor, donate to groups that really help the poor, and see that government policies do not maintain the structures of injustice that keep so many poor and that governments respond to the needs of the poor.
But get to know the poor as persons.
If you visit a shelter and provide a meal, sit down and eat the meal with the people there. If you go and help on a project of building or repairing a house, sit down and talk with the persons. If you go on a “mission” trip, let yourself be evangelized by the poor by sitting with them and hearing about their lives.
“The Lord hears the cry of the poor.” So should we.