How many of us really understand poverty? Most of us tend to say that we understand what it is all about but until you have actually ‘walked in the shoes’ of poverty or extreme hardships you do not really understand the full scope of it. How many of us (me included) say about the unemployed to ‘get a job’ or ‘clean houses’ or ‘cut lawns’ but until recently I have not had the privilege to be amongst the unemployed and truly say that it is a hardship like none other. Trying to start one’s own business to earn an income is even harder. Today I have a new respect for those on the street…..it can easily be me….
How we take things for granted, like even a tube of toothpaste…. How many of you have actually used up a full tube until your fingers have squeezed out the last drop before throwing it away. How many of you have used ordinary soap to wash your hair, counted out every last cent to make it count.
Jobs are scarce and more so for the older generation. Nobody hires folk who are in their middle ages and beyond and heaven forbid that you do not have any specific set of skills then you are even more screwed! Hardship, poverty and unemployment are not just centred on the uneducated, it affects us all. It has no colour creed or gender specifics, it does not matter what your background is or who you are.
Hardships that border on poverty can break you mentally and physically, it humbles you, it takes away all sense of pride and ego. It can either strengthen who you are as a person or else it can break you if you allow it to.
Living hand to mouth on a daily basis has only made me turn to Him in total dependence and ask for His daily strength and wisdom. My faith has not weakened and I will continue to trust in my God for I know He will never forsake me. I have been blessed by never going to bed hungry as He has seen to my bodily needs even if it has just been scrambled eggs on toast. This is about learning to live on His daily Word and trusting in Him completely.
So please, when that person comes asking for food or a job, don’t turn him or her away…..it took greatness of courage to come up and ask for it. And don’t frown on the unemployed standing along the roads…it could be you!