I'm a fixer. If there's a problem, I don't like to just wait for someone else to fix it or try to put up with it. I wan to do something about it! The problem is, sometimes the solutions we are able to provide just won't fit well with the problems we have. The question is then: are we thinking about the problem the right way?
We see all around people that are down on their luck, hurting, or in poverty. Sometimes, we would rather blame them for their situation than help. Sometimes we feel like the help we can offer won't make a difference. Sometimes we let these discouraging thoughts stop us from fulfilling our purpose.
Perhaps, we can change the question. What if we begin to see people in poverty as a real people in need of compassion? What if recognize that in poverty, we have an ongoing opportunity to bless and to be blessed through showing compassion.
Yes, we want badly to help pull people out of poverty. Yes, we want people to be paid fairly and treated fairly. But if the solution to poverty is simply hard work and dedication then it becomes a moral judgement we pass on those in poverty that they are not good enough, not worthy, not loved.
What if instead we realize we have people right in front of us that need love and compassion. They need Jesus and the Kingdom. We fool ourselves if we think we can help one person or a few over our lifetime and the problem of poverty will go away. No, Jesus says: "The poor will always be with you, so what does that mean but that the work of the church continues!
The work of compassion will never end. The mission is fulfilled in doing the work. When we focus on the task at hand, rather than blaming people for their mistakes, we can finally fulfill our purpose and calling as a people of love and compassion.