When I first read the email, I was outraged. Seriously upset. Furious is probably a good word for me to use. See...I live in a VERY affluent area. When I look around me, I see wealth and abundance. I see Hummers and UGG's and manicured lawns and esplanades. It's beautiful where I live. There is plenty to go around.
And many in my neighborhood want to keep it all for themselves.
Now...I remember a time in my life where I felt the same way. I felt the poor got what they deserved, and by my hard work, I earned what I have. I wanted to get far away from poverty and disease for fear of what it would mean for my family.
Did you see that? Fear drove that attitude in me. John told us that, "perfect love, casts out fear." (1 John 4:18)
My outrage turned to sadness. Sadness that so many people are so fearful that their beloved property value will be brought down and that crime will go up. 600 people have signed this petition so far, and they are hoping to get 1200 more to sign it.
I sent an email to my neighbors today asking them to reconsider. Many of my neighbors call themselves Christians, so I am using Scripture to appeal to them.
Matthew 25 says that whatever we do for the least of these we also do for Jesus. We don't allow poor people in our neighborhood, we don't allow Jesus in our neighborhood. Mother Teresa said, and she lived in the squalor of Calcutta, "that the poor were Jesus in His most distressing disguise". In fact, do a google search for Mother Teresa quotes and then read what she wrote about love, and giving, and poverty. It will break. your. heart.
Jesus taught us this very thing in Matthew 25. Have you read it lately? What does this mean for YOU?
Then I read in 1 John where we encouraged NOT to love in words and speech, but in actions and truth.
"I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness." - Mother Teresa.