Doing Good To Us
Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche communities once wrote,
Many of us have been taught…that we should ‘do good to’ the poor.
The gospel message tells us that it is the poor who do good to us.
John lives in Manassas with his wife and three young children. The family was homeless until five months ago. Now they’ve settled into their apartment, John has a job, the children are in school, the boys have signed up for tee ball and their daughter has signed up for soccer. As I was sitting in the living room, a neighbor girl knocked at the door to see if John’s daughter could come to her house for a playdate.
John tells me all this proudly and then he looks down and says, “We just can’t lose this!”
His fear is real. Yesterday his car – the car which gives him transportation to work – was re-possessed. Yesterday he received a final notice from the utility company. Yesterday his landlord sent him a text saying that if he didn’t have $1160 in back rent and fines, he’ll be evicted.
It seemed overwhelming to me – but it wasn’t to John.
John has a plan. He’s taking the bus to work until he can get a car loan which he’ll pay weekly. He asked Good Shepherd for help in paying his utility bill. He’s saved up enough money for April’s rent, and he’s convinced that if he can just get help to pay the back rent, he’ll be on track once again.
I don’t know where John’s hope comes from. John is living Good Friday with a heart which can see Easter.
Many of us have been taught that we should ‘do good to’ the poor. The gospel message tells us that is the poor who do good to us.