Not the Normal
Everyday we drive by sin, injustice, poverty, hatred, etc. It is so familiar to us that it becomes normal and we do not think anything about it. We drive by a homeless man while we sip our five dollar cup of coffee. We walk past someone telling a racist joke and we smile as we keep on walking. We live next to someone dealing with depression and loneliness, but we never speak to them. We have a friend whose life has been ripped apart by sin, but we never invite them to church. If we are not careful these situations can become the normal and we end up doing nothing about them.
This week in Austin, TX a non-profit organization decided to bring awareness to the fact there are people who have no homes. The “I AM HERE” campaign put up a billboard on I-35, but this wasn’t just any billboard. Danny Silver, a homeless man in Austin agreed to live on the billboard for two days. Danny and his wife Maggie came to Austin five years ago when he was promised a job. The job ended and Danny and his wife were robbed shortly after that. On top of all that Maggie had a stroke and she is now in a wheelchair. Danny wants to work, but it is hard because he has to look after Maggie. Danny was happy to spend some time on the billboard in order to bring awareness to the homeless in Austin and other cities as well.
So far the campaign has worked. The Austin American Statesman reported on the story as well as CNN, and many other local news outlets. It is great that so many people are becoming aware of this problem, but it is sad that it took a billboard to make it happen. This problem and many others are in front of us everyday, but too often we fail to notice. Maybe some days we do notice, but we do not do anything about it. I know we will not be able to solve the problem ourselves, but that does not give us the right to sit back and do nothing.
As Christians we are called to make a difference in the world. We cannot let these problems become normal. We cannot wait until it is on a billboard before we do something about it. We are supposed to notice the sins and injustices that the world considers normal. When Jesus was on this earth he reached out to the least of society and he calls us to do the same.
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ’Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ’Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:34-46)