I am poor. According to certain charts and line graphs and number listings, I am among the lowest echelon of the earning populace.
For a family of five people, the “poverty line” are those whom earn below $25,000 per year – my wife and I combined make less than half of that.
`Tis a curious thing… for I do not feel terribly impoverished.
My family lives in a clean comfortable house with a one-car garage, on about a quarter of an acre of shade trees and lush grass – all in a quiet lower/middle class neighborhood of families and elderly shut-ins. We drive a Van from the early `90s that scarcely needs much attention or costly maintenance, and we can afford to keep it insured with full coverage.
Granted, our spending power is rather limited but I cannot say that we want for much of anything. Almost all of what is earned is budgeted towards our monthly expenses, and my only lament is that I am not financially able to substantially assist the needier souls in our midsts.
However… I discovered something today that knocked me on my ear: The Global Rich List
According to the site, my family is in the top 13% of the wealthiest people in the world. “Three billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day…”
There is terrible want in this world… there are too many that have too little, while too few have too much.
How often have I looked upon the massive marble edifice of increasingly affluent Christendom and shaken my head at what I deemed to be wanton avarice – even as I have enjoyed my own meager luxuries of comfort and stability. How dare I face my LORD while I do not strive to feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, welcome the strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick, nor go to the prisons?
I do what little I can (what very little I can) and yet I know there is much to which I am o`erindulgent. There needs to be a winnowing of such extravagance… where one forsakes his own surfeit gratification, that he might be a servant to others` vital needs.
…and I can find no better place to start than with myself.