Church comes to aid of woman (link)
Sir: This time of year, the media reports the generous acts of so many inspired by the spirit of Christmas. Invariably, we lament this spirit does not last all year long. It does.Aside from the suggestion that it is only Christians who help others (which doesn't explain why the greatest philanthropists are non-believers), and the blatant bragging, Linda's letter is a good reminder to everyone (especially Christians) that help is needed all year long.
The Christians of Bluewater Baptist Church quietly (so quietly that she's bragging about it in the newspaper - luckily Jesus didn't say anything about being humble) and diligently watch over and provide for so many of the small needs of a close friend who lives in a dilapidated old house with her cat. Her small disability check barely covers her needs.
She is so poor that even a box of Kleenex, toilet paper, fresh fruit, bread and milk are a luxury she cannot afford in the middle of the month after all her bills have been paid. Every bout of cold or flu is an emergency for her since she rarely has any of these little comforts on hand. Moreover, her immune system has been compromised by the chemo pills prescribed for her arthritis and she gets sick a lot.
Her hands are so crippled that she cannot shovel her own sidewalk and keep her porch steps snow and ice free. She depends on the kindness of neighbours and friends.
God bless the Christians (and none of the others? Oh, right, my bad - god doesn't exist) who make a point of providing for her small needs, who rake the snow off her roof in the winter, who clean her eaves troughs in the fall, who paint the peeling house and mow her lawn in the summer and who recently added a handle to her door-frame so that she could pull herself through the doorway -a thousand small acts of kindness each year.
Jesus said the poor will always be with us (as long as people adhere to illogical ideas and dogma, for sure). At any time, if we truly want to be doers of The Word and not merely hearers of The Word, we can put our faith into action.
We can extend small acts of kindness any day of the year. We can welcome the poor and the lonely into our homes to share a meal and enjoy our company. These small works are opportunities for us to grow as human beings in charity for it is when we are giving that we are most fully human. (Especially if the giving is to support a million dollar church.)
Let us recall frequently the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, "Love gives until it hurts." (Now, Mother Teresa probably isn't someone I'd refer to - and I suspect Linda wouldn't either if she didn't just blindly accept what her pastor tells her from the pulpit.)
It bothers me that Christians, like Linda, can't see the sad truth that the millions (tens of millions) of dollars spent on churches (in our own community alone) and their upkeep/staffing could be used to address the problems of people like the woman referenced in this letter. She must ignore the fact that the vast majority of money given to churches does not go to help others - it stays in the church to pay salaries, upgrade churches, buy vehicles, install bigger parking lots, purchase nicer digital signs, etc.
Mother Teresa, as I mention above, is not someone to be idolized - she was a friend of poverty but not a friend of the poor. Mother Teresa was against birth control - she equated it with abortion and murder. We know that one proven method for elevating a society out of poverty is the empowerment of women. Giving women control over their reproductive cycle and providing them an education does wonders. (Which reminds me - Bluewater Baptist Church is intimately involved in the horrendous Pregnancy Centre.)
And, finally, if Christians do good because of the reward in the afterlife, they're simply doing good things for bad reasons. Doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do is a more honourable reason.