Go in Peace

Single mom with a dead end job

Ninety hour week just to keep what she’s got

With the bills that add up and now she’s caught

She does what she can to survive

  

There are so many things I want to say about this horrible song by Matt Maher, but I’m going to focus on the last line of this part…

“She does what she can to survive.”

What the hell does that even mean? Does she sell one of her kids? What? Seriously. She’s already working 90-hrs a week. Does Maher even know what it’s like to work that sort of shit and come out the other side on the short end? I doubt it.

So exactly what does she do?

If she’s working 90 hours she isn’t eligible for any sort of public assistance. I’m working at least 50 a week and my reward from the state was a drastic cut in services. So she can’t even sell her food stamps, because she doesn’t have any. 

What’s she going to do?

Maher offers no tangible solution, only admonishes the woman to “turn around.” I’m supposing he means in the spiritual sense, which is more nauseating than I can possibly put into words.

Maher’s solutions is what is too often offered by the church, in particular the conservative church.

“You’re life wouldn’t be so hard if you’d just turn to Jesus.”

That is a lie the working poor have been sold for eons. It makes me wonder why anyone still believes it.

The truth is that without actual monetary help, the poor will forever remain poor. And since poverty begets poverty, it will probably go on for generations. 

But, thanks to conservative Christians, the help the working poor get is zilch. 

See conservative Christians have bought into the lie of Americanism. This idea that we are all on a level playing field here and the only reason poor people are poor is because they are too lazy to work their way out.

This is simply untrue. Are there lazy poor people? Duh. Just as there are Christians who refuse to do the work Christ called them to. 

But the working poor are the ones who actually suffer under the ideals of conservatives.

I think at it’s root, the problem is American Christians believe too much in the miraculous. I think we believe that Jesus is just going to plop food, clothing, and shelter in the laps of the poor, so we can go on our merry way and live our comfy lives and pat the poor on the head and say, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed.”

James asks if we say that and do nothing for the poor, what good is that?

Jesus isn’t sending a miracle on par with parting the Red Sea to rescue the poor because He already sent us to do that work.

WE are that miracle. We who dare to claim the name of Christ are the miracle that helps people out of their poverty. God isn’t going to send this woman a check for her bills. This isn’t Hollywood. Some nice guy ain’t gonna give her his winning lottery ticket.

So if you went to church this morning and you groused later about the person in front of you at the grocery store paying for their food with food stamps, you’ve missed the point.

We are called, commanded actually, to do for the least these. Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, etc.

WE are the Body. We are Christ’s hands and feet in this earth.

It’s time we stopped living in a dream world where Jesus is expected to pour money from heaven, and started doing what He asked the church to do in the first place.

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