Here I am chomping on a very posh burger between meetings to discuss the plight of people who are hungry. This is a short lunchtime reflection for you ponder on and not written with a great deal of agonising.
If someone is starving or being abused in any way it is, of course necessary for us to act. Furthermore, it becomes something which should stir compassion in all of us not just those who happen to be on the wrong side of the street.
In reality we accept that there are people who are suffering and that we should do something, but we question what would be the best course of action? I hear endless debates about what kind of approach should be made when dealing with poverty. Should we encourage the “poor” to stand on their own feet rather than relying on benefits? Do we enable local groups to find their own solutions? How can we debate grooming without inflaming prejudice?
From a Christian perspective we delve into the theology of our social responsibility and become warmed by the certainty that we are doing the right thing. We want to see a better world and so turn our attention to creating a vision for a fairer future.
I’m taking a break between meetings in Saltaire looking out over a relatively wealthy part of Bradford. There are well dressed people around me having animated conversations about life and culture. It’s all good stuff and I wouldn’t want a life an any less dignified.
However, all I can say is that if the hungry need feeding then feed them, if the abused are silenced then encourage them to talk, if there are homeless people them invite them in. I am not sure that much more needs to be said other than to have people among us who are not embraced and valued makes us all poor.
I’ve got to go to another meeting now to talk about how complicated we can make feeding people who are hungry. Hope it will be a short conversation.