Let’s pretend that you have decided to gear down to the level where hundreds of millions of people on this planet live. Here’s a starter kit on how to get there:
- “First, take out the furniture: leave a few old blankets, a kitchen table, maybe a wooden chair. You’ve never had a bed, remember?
- Second, throw out your clothes. Each person in the family may keep the oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. The head of the family has the only pair of shoes.
- Third, all kitchen appliances have vanished. Keep a box of matches, a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a handful of onions, a dish of dried beans. Rescue the moldy potatoes from the garbage can: those are tonight’s meal.
- Fourth, dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, take out the wiring and the lights and everything that runs by electricity.
- Fifth, take away the house and move the family into the toolshed.
- Sixth, no more postman, fireman, government services. The two-classroom school is three miles away, but only two of your seven children attend anyway, and they walk
- Seventh, throw out your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, insurance policies. You now have a cash hoard of $5.
- Eighth, get out and start cultivating your three acres. Try hard to raise $300 in cash crops because your landlord wants one-third and your moneylender 10 percent.
- Ninth, find some way for your children to bring in a little extra money so you have something to eat most days. But it won’t be enough to keep bodies healthy — so lop off 25 to 30 years of life.”
As a follower of Christ, what is my responsibility?
“If a man shuts his ear to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered… He who gives to the poor will lack nothing , but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” (Proverbs 21:13; 28:27)
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17, 18)
PRAYER: “Dear God, help me to see those less fortunate than myself through your eyes, and respond in a way that reflects the very heart of Jesus. Amen.”