Post #301 I’ve been dealing with a difficult problem the last few years.
We gathered at the funeral home Friday afternoon. It was a small group, no more than 30 or so.
A few years ago, we sat, one Sunday afternoon in a small room. We were six in all, my wife and I and another lady. Sitting across from us was a couple and her wheelchair bound uncle. We were learning the particulars of this church, gauging each other and whether or not we stood in agreement with certain theologies. It soon became apparent that the couple across from us had experienced a totally different life than my wife and I. They were a complete picture of how a series of choices directly influences your life. Please understand that the following is an observation NOT a criticism, there just are people in this world that have difficulty comprehending, understanding, learning and/or grasping things. This couple fell into that situation, their lives were also compounded by events that limited locations where they could live, i.e. not close to schools, etc.
It was soon apparent that these were dependent people. They couldn’t retain a job nor a vehicle and its insurance. They looked to the SYSTEM for continued support. We met their (her) children, two sons. Both were being supported by the government. They both found equivalent mates, barring children and later marriage, all to be supported ON THE SYSTEM.
Eventually the little congregation, having tried to open opportunities for the couple, tired of them. Believing that people should learn to stand on their own and that if you make enough bad choices you will learn to eventually make some good ones. The problem is, the opportunity to make good choice rarely occurred for them. The didn’t want opportunity, because that was expensive, they wanted hand outs. Someone to pick them up for church, visits, food, clothing, grooming and cash donations.
We were visiting the funeral home Friday afternoon, the wife, (mother) after a series of ailments, lost her battle and moved on. I was sitting there recalling all of the days that our paths had crossed, what I done and what I had avoided. The funeral, was quite simple, everything was “covered’ by some distant out-of-state aunt. Standing before me, beside the casket, was the Mayor this town, I was aghast, because just minutes before the Representative to the State Legislature was standing in the same place! Who were these people?
As the funeral started, one of the sons, being out-of-state couldn’t afford to make the journey. But he was able to have the service Skyped as well as to participate in the service by the same method. Which made me wonder, how can you be supported by the government and afford MP3 players and smart phones to Skype with? The MP3 player was used to play the deceased favorite hymns.
This couple through their life decisions, has caused me to review my commitments over the last few years, picture my problem: Where is the balance between acceptance and rejection, agreement and discord, grace and separation. God wants us to be good stewards, yet we are also called to support the needy. If help is required, give it, but how long, how far, how often and how much?
God’s grace to me is unending, not limited and not restricted. How can my grace be any less?