Poverty.  I could endeavour here to define poverty.  But when you see it up close and personal, defining what it is seems rather pointless. How do you define that thing that chisels away dignity? Or ruins beauty? Or destroys all hope? What of worth that tranforms into a sense of worthlessness?   This poverty that leads to desperation, to jealousy, to lying, theft or prostitution as the only means of survival?  What about education that is cut short or non-existant or children who die of treatable medical issues because of the lack of a few dollars?  Poverty is ugly.  An abomination.  A plague.
Neither poverty nor wealth are vice or virtue in and of themselves. We can be "rich" in terms of money or possessions and absolutely bankrupt in spirit.  In contrast, those who are considered poor in this life can possess as well the blessed "poverty of spirit" of knowing and being known by God.

Jesus Himself said that the poor would always be with us.  Because that is true, I think that sometimes  in resignation we say that there's not really anything we can do to change things.  But this same God who spoke of the permanent presence of the poor among us, also said "Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their need"  Prov 21:13

The solution to poverty is not wealth.  We know that riches brings its own share of problems and dilemmas.
 Proverbs 30:8b says "Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs."  Surely those of us who aren't wondering how or if we will eat today have some responsibility to respond with loving compassion to those who live and die in poverty.


  1. Excellent thoughts, Brenda. Reminds me of God's instruction in Isaiah 58—if we expect blessing then justice for all must be high on our priority list.

  2. Very well-written and thought-provoking. I like that verse in Proverbs. Bruce has seen alot of poverty on the reserves up north too; children who live poverty and have no hope.Enjoying reading your blog.

  3. Brenda, you have such a way with words. I had tears in my eyes as I read what you are experience in person. I think you have "a book in you"! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, I will endeavor to follow your blog regularly!


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