needy & poor

9 Jan

I’m jumping right on in today on the next verse in my Proverbs 31 series. The next verse is:

‘She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.’ Proverbs 31:20

It probably seems like an obvious verse. Obviously, we all need to be helping the poor and the needy. Don’t most people have a heart for those who are less fortunate? For those who don’t have anything? For the needy?

I know I do.

The unique thing that I love about this woman, is that she is probably doing this right in her own neighborhood. She is probably reaching out right in her own community. And while I DO think she is actually helping people that don’t have much materialistically, I think more-so she is aware of those who also are needy emotionally. Mentally. Those who are wounded and broken. People who are in despair. Widows who are now raising children with no father because they were killed in Iraq. Encouraging the stay-at-home mom down the street who is so lonely that she just wants to die. Reaching out to the teenager who bags her groceries every week.

She is open to how the Spirit is to use her, all through her daily life.

Because the truth is, we all come into contact with people EVERY DAY who are struggling, contemplating suicide, doing drugs and begging on the inside for someone to notice how lonely they really are. They might actually have all the materialistic things in the world and still be needy. And I honestly have to read this verse and ask myself sincerely, ‘AM I truly open?’.  Am I opening my arms to the poor and EXTENDING them to people who are in need?

Whether it be giving a homeless man ten bucks to buy some food or just listening to a friend who has been deeply wounded in their past. Whatever the need may be, I read this verse and have to ask myself, ‘AM I truly open?’.

I always say that this woman amazes me. But she really does. This verse doesn’t say that she doesn’t have time to recognize those in need. It doesn’t say that she sees them and just prays for them because she’s too busy. It says that she just DOES it. She opens her arms and extends her hands, regardless of the need. And there is no doubt that she is busy. But she’s not ever too busy to reach out to those who are less fortunate. Or to those who are struggling. I imagine that this woman’s home was full of people who just wanted to be sitting on her couch just to be near her and her family. Her hospitality wasn’t lacking, I’m sure. The compassion that came from this woman was probably abundant.

She would just extend her hands to those who needed it. And from the depths of despair of those she saw around her she was able to share, Christ, grace, love, mercy, and friendship. And THAT, my friends is what it’s all about.

Inspiring, isn’t it?

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2 Responses to “needy & poor”

  1. Shari Lopatin January 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    From my outside understanding of Christianity (and going through a situation where I experienced, up close and personal, someone who claimed to be Christian but acted otherwise toward me), this post encompasses all that Christ envisioned. I think this is the epitome of what He represented, and I wish more Christians thought like you do here, Jess. In Judaism, it’s called “Mitzvot,” to open your arms to those in need (emotionally or physically). What really hit home is when you mentioned the widows from the Iraq war. I guess it’s because in my job, I see a lot of that, and it really touched a place deep inside. I work with many military spouse bloggers for my job, and I read their online journals. It’s HEART-BREAKING. And not just the widows, but the ones whose husbands returned with traumatic brain injury, and now they’re adjusting to a “new normal.” They are in such deep need.

    But anyway, that’s a tangent. I really like this one, Jess. I wish more people thought like this.

    –Shari

  2. dani January 10, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    This series is just awesome and I love Proverbs 31 so much. It’s so powerful and so humbling! You explained verse 31:20 so well Jess and I think it’s something to definitely be reminded of quite often in our busy lives! – Dani

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