Recently, we had a team head out on typical deliveries to families in need in the community. But they soon discovered they were in an unusual opportunity at one stop. Read about it from one of those on the team:
When we entered the apartment, the first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t cool — coming in from the summer heat, it’s always nice to step into air-conditioning. But it wasn’t till I’d been inside for a minute or two that I realized there were no lights on — and about the same time, she apologized for having no electricity, because her power had been cut off.
Now, I’ve been through some seasons of unemployment, but never did it get so bad that I lost my utilities. I couldn’t imagine what that was like, particularly for a single mom trying to raise two children. No perishable foods would keep, they couldn’t escape the heat of the Deep South, how did they handle evenings with no light, etc. I asked how much she owed the power company, assuming it must be hundreds of dollars. I thought maybe I could give her some money to help defray those costs. But when she said that all she needed was $25 for them to restore her power, I had two thoughts: One, what’s it like to not even have twenty-five bucks for something so essential. And two, this is a no-brainer. I didn’t want her, or her sweet children, to go one more day without electricity if it wasn’t necessary.
Now, I don’t know how quickly she was able to get it restored, or perhaps she ended up spending it on something else her family needed, and I’d be fine with that. At any rate, I found it mind-boggling that in America, where 1% of the population owns almost 40% of the wealth, a nation rolling in riches, that a mere 25 dollars stood between a family and one of life’s essentials. To me, this was not just an issue of economics, but of justice. What would Jesus do? He’d help her get her power back on, and he’d provide light for her soul. So I just did what I thought he’d do. There was no internal wrestling or praying about it. There was a need, it could be met easily, so we met it. That’s what justice looks like.