Arriving in a rural Georgia town, my husband announced that he forgot to bring his medication with him. We went to a pharmacy to get a small supply for the days we would be away. “You will have to call your pharmacy or your doctor for authorization,” the pharmacist informed us.
Most of our prescriptions are filled through mail-order suppliers. We didn’t have the prescription number with us. We began making phone calls. After a half hour on the telephone, we finally obtained authorization for the prescription.
A week later, we talked with a woman at a local hotel who was running into brick walls trying to assist families working through the maze of social service agencies. Her experiences ended in frustrating encounters with people she expected to be helpful.
We contacted one of the agencies she talked with, asking them to meet with the woman to address her concerns. The agency agreed to contact her. More than a month later, the woman has not heard from anyone. All she wants is to tell someone what she experienced. We contacted the agency a second time. They again agreed to talk with the woman. Another month has gone by. The woman hasn’t heard from anyone. It is frustrating. I wonder how this woman must feel. Would you feel like no one cared for your concerns if the same thing happened to you?
People living below the poverty line have no power, not by their choice or by their circumstances. Their voice isn’t often heard. People living in poverty have nothing to leverage. They are limited because of poverty.
The Apostle Paul lived with a thorn in the flesh that limited him. “Three different times [Paul] begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NLT)
I believe that Christ empowers us to help people living in poverty whose voices can’t be heard in the silence of indifference.