December 14, 2016

Starting Over

We’ve all seen and read the cardboard signs held by people panhandling and looking for a handout. All the signs, whether they invoke a laugh or a tear, are intended to hit a compassion nerve. Recently a woman who appeared to be in her late 30’s stood on a grassy street corner holding a cardboard sign that read, “Christian Family Starting Over.” Jesus said he would never leave us as orphans, so I’m not sure how the Lord reacts to seeing his name on a cardboard sign that implies the needs of this Christian family have not been met. These folks take the name Christian and I have to wonder what happened to their faith based support network — their biological, extended and church family. On practicing religion James said, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----This question has always perplexed me. Psalms and Proverbs proclaim the prosperity of God’s people.

I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread.
Psalm 37:25

The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Prov 10:3

What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
Prov 10:24

The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
Prov 11:23

But America is not a good place to test these statements. God has blessed this land so immensely that even the poor are rich. There are impoverished regions in the world of where I hear that getting a couple morsels to eat is a blessed day. But I only hear. And I only see pictures. And we don’t often enough consider the possible motives bringing us such information. So I don’t know how real those perceptions are.
-----Who really knows about the woman with the placard? I have known people who’ve either been abandoned by their families or whose families are as depleted of sympathy and consideration as a pen of duroc hogs. She could have been from such. Or she could have been a complete fraud herself. Or anything between the two. One of the most used concepts of my mind is, “I don’t really know until I know truly.” Supposing isn’t knowing.
-----I wanted to be married when I was eighteen. For years I prayed for my wife, not for to get her, but for the Lord to know her, grow her, provide for her, shelter her, and groom us to fit together well into what He wanted from our lives. I tried hard to think and feel Biblically towards her. And I wanted to be right with her before God. I thought all that was pretty righteous. And it was my big desire. But maybe I wasn’t so righteous by estimation of the above formulas from the scriptures. I was able to date fewer ladies in my twenties than I have fingers to count them. And little did I know when I was eighteen that I would have to live my entire age over again before I would find my wife. I was in the process of giving up that whole desire when I met Char. Now at sixty-two I thank God daily for the patience He used in answering my prayers. I look at Char and what we have together and see in it my Daddy’s working.
-----Seeing the woman with the placard is seeing only a snippet of her time. What were the years before? What will be the years after? Joseph being drawn out of a desert pit for sale to slave traders no more appears to be the providence of God than being thrown into prison for refusing to romp with your boss’s strikingly beautiful wife. Yet he practically ruled Egypt!

Love you all,
Steve Corey