What poor people want
In the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, Dr. Paul Farmer says that poor people don’t want someone to come visit them, put on peasants’ clothing, and sit in their poverty. They’d rather someone put on a suit, go to people with resources, tell their story – give voice to those who wouldn’t be heard otherwise – and then bring back some real help. I don’t claim the right to speak on behalf of the poor, but if anyone has earned that platform in our time, it may be Dr. Farmer. He lived in Haiti in the early ’80s and has spent his entire adult life championing first-world healthcare for third-world communities.
Farmer’s quote about poverty, suits, and resources reminds me of Luke 12:48 (To whom much is given, much is required) and that scene in the movie Goodwill Hunting when Ben Affleck’s blue-collar character, Chuckie Sullivan, tells his best buddy and genius, Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) that, “If you’re sitting at my house in twenty years, drinking a beer and watching the Pats game on Sunday afternoon, I’m going to kick your…”
Damon’s character was taken back at first. Why wouldn’t his buddy want him around? Then he got it. He understood what Dr. Farmer understands. He’d been given a gift, and to whom much is given, much is required. Poor people don’t want us to be poor. They want us to use what we’ve been given to help bring justice, mercy, and love to a hurting world. Sometimes that involves putting on a suit and sharing a story. Sometimes it involves writing a check or hugging a child. Sometimes it involves throwing a party. That’s what we will be doing this Saturday at The Global Orphan Project’s BIG Event. (Get your ticket here>>)
We will go anywhere and do anything that God directs us to do to care for His children…as many of you do! On behalf of the children, thank you!