But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get.
-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
I'm becoming more and more convinced that "healthy poverty and simplicity" is where it's at. I'm in the middle, or perhaps just at the very beginning, of a reawakening to what it could be to live simply, to actually identify with the poor and the marginalized of society, to love them, learn from them and see the image of God in them.
I recently finished reading the Bible in a year and am now taking a little more time with a few books. Parts of Isaiah that speak to our responsibility to the poor are leaping off the page. I had no idea that I have skimmed over all that just to get to the sections like the calling in chapter 6 and the prophecies about the Messiah later in the book. How could I have read this Bible my whole life and missed these huge themes?
Yesterday at the homeless shelter, there was a young woman who came up to the desk to tell me she felt like she was going crazy. She had been evicted from her apartment, was separated from her kids, and it sounded like she was with a guy just because he was providing her some protection. At first I just gave her the numbers for two shelters that take women. One of which she had already checked and they were full. I asked some of the people who work there for more ideas, and we tried calling a few other places, but had no success. This has happened a few times before and always makes me sad. There has to be something that can be done for women who aren't abused and don't have kids, or don't have their kids with them. If nothing is there, I must be a part of the solution.