Monday, July 14, 2008

Pondering the Mayor's letter.

Mayor Steve Mitchell
Richardson, Texas

I got a letter from the Mayor two weeks ago in reply to my questions and concerns for those who are poor, and homeless in the city. He chose the same expression as the former Mayor did in his reply to me over a month ago. They both commended for my passion. I suppose passion undergirds my letters and newspaper articles but I choose to believe I simply have compassion.

After several weeks of pondering the Mayor's commendation I have come to the conclusion that it is far easier for one to to distance themselves from a passionate person. But oh, how much harder it is to discount one with compassion.

It seems my passion is to be commended but is not something that the city can be bothered with at this particular time. The cities passion at the moment is to become a premier first tier suburb. Everyone knows that premier communities don't want to be bothered with issues such as poverty or homelessness.

Case and point. Our mayor asked me when visiting my office who the homeless really belong to. If a person doesn't have an address then which city in the Metroplex is responsible to offer assistance. I suppose we can all stand around and yelp that we aren't responsible.

Technically the Mayor is correct. This city like all other cities are designed to serve citizens who live within the city limits. Yet, the pesky little fact that we are all members of the human race, and are called by God to have compassion for each other means that we are responsible for those who are without basic needs.

His letter was written to tell me what it means when the city says they support the local community ministry agency. He couldn't tell me what "support" meant until he had some research done. The good news is that the city does have the work of the local agency in mind. The real news is the city offers minimal assistance.

The rest of the news is that this city can do so much better. There are people who will gladly offer support and wisdom as to how the city can be proactive in offering support and care for those in need.

Passionate or Compassionate? Call me what you want. I believe caring for others in tangible ways is our human responsibility!

"I know, you are probably asking what would Jesus do?" the mayor said to me. That's a comment reserved for the Mayor when speaking with minister types!

No, I'm not waiting for Jesus to do anything. Jesus is waiting for me and you to get off our duff and DO!


shawn said...

What would Jesus do ??

The whole kicking over the tables in the temple comes to mind ...

Jesus would be one of the first to challenge us to stop putting forward tired old excuses and start caring for the poor ...

When he said "you will always have the poor among you," it wasn't a call to complacency, it was a call to DO something about it ...

Keep fighting the good fight brother!!

susie said...

I think it was Rob Bell once in a sermon who talked about water in Africa. His comment was...
This is bad and it makes God angry.
I can imagine an angry God who doesn't like it when people are suffering.
YOu are right. It is our job to do something about it.
We have to be the people of the church. We have to show compassion.

Good for you for continuing to ask the tough questions!