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In the process of looking after those in need, something transformational happens. We begin to open our eyes to the world around us rather than just focusing on ourselves. We begin to recognize those in need in our neighborhoods and community and decide to cross that invisible threshold and actually get involved.
At times that means writing big checks and handing over wads of cash to those in need, but it also means delivering bags of groceries, shoveling snowy walkways, mowing out-of-control lawns, volunteering to baby-sit and serving in the countless small ways that make a big difference. Sometimes I think the best gift that can be given to someone in need is a long afternoon together on a shady porch with a pitcher of iced tea.
The God whisper I have been hearing in my heart is simply this: The poor are all around you. They cannot always be identified by their material lack. In our society, poverty has become more than just a zip code.
Revelation 3:17 describes a people who have acquired wealth to the level that they do not need a single thing. Yet God exposes the poverty of the über-rich. "You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Indeed, the poor are all around us.
Just this week I heard of a young couple looking for a church where they could build relationships. I smiled. I look forward to being on the front end of welcoming them into our community.
Margaret Feinberg is a writer and speaker who lives in Colorado with her husband, Leif. For information visit www.margaretfeinberg.com.
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