Jesus said you'd never be able to eliminate poverty. No matter how hard you try, someone's always going to be poor. Strange of me, but whenever I read that passage of scripture I always think of the "poor" living in "poverty" as living in some African hut covered in red dust or something. With 500 relatives, all sharing two grains of rice and three outfits between them.
Not living in beautiful New Zealand in a house! I read this article in astonishment. Can you imagine the silliness of the officer who reports that he *even* knows of a family with 10 people in a three-bedroom house!?? Oh, please. We have eight people in our three-bedroom house, and we're not even poor! We don't qualify for any food stamps, housing subsidy, WIC... nothing like that. I wonder what kind of rich country New Zealand is that this is an amazing idea. It makes me wonder what the "sheds" are that are being alluded to. They're probably gorgeous beachside cottages, more like. With "only" 5,000 square feet each, sitting on 10 acres. Sigh. I can't wait until the Flat Stanleys show me the opulent lifestyle out there!!
But even the "poor" usually have an apartment with a phone and electric here in the US. I can't think of too many places here that don't have running water, either. Elf and Emperor and I were reading the Little House series today. Laura is on a train and has discovered that when you turn the handle on a faucet in the passenger car, water comes out! She's amazed. She thinks nothing of sharing the same dirty cup with every passenger riding with her. The wonders of modern times are all she's thinking about right then. Not that when she gets off the train to pick out a homestead with Pa, she's going to have to use an outhouse and count herself privileged when Pa gets 'round to digging a well.
Maybe we expect far too much from this life, and forget about the next one. Our pastor was reading a bit about the martyrs last night. It shouldn't stretch the imagination to think about suffering persecution. It's not as though missionaries have some special "suffering" gene that they're different from us. It's not as though we should be different from them.
I'm not saying that we need to suffer to be spiritual. I'm just wondering how well we American Christians will do when suffering DOES come. When we really ARE poor. We won't *all* of us be able to move to New Zealand. You guys will have to figure something out when I'm gone to live in that shed by the beach.