May 31

I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor. Psalm 140:12

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Luke 6:20

God reaches everywhere. He does not discriminate according to the size of one’s bank account or of the influence one has among the powerful. I was struck by the news story this week of the migrant, Mamoudou Gassama, from Mali, who scaled the apartment building in Paris to save a young child dangling from a balcony. The point that interested me was that Mr. Gassama met with the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, at the president’s palace after the heroic rescue. President Macron stated that Mr. Gassama’s act will assure that Mr. Gassama’s papers would be in order as quickly as possible.

What really struck me was the statement that “Mr. Gassama will be one of a lucky few in a country with increasingly tight immigration rules and a generally skeptical attitude toward migrants who are seeking primarily economic benefits.” I would imagine that most migrants cannot scale tall buildings in Spiderman-like fashion to achieve acceptance. Of course, Mr. Gassama did not do so for such a reason either. He just saw a desperate need and thought he could help.

My point is, God tells us over and over through his word and example that we are to help the poor and all of those in need. Over and over, those in power seek ways to thwart the generosity and assistance which could be given to those most in need. The other migrants who came under similar circumstances as those of Mr. Gassama most likely will not have their papers in order as quickly as possible. It is ludicrous to think that one must perform an act of heroism beyond belief to be accepted! Of course, I am happy for Mr. Gassama; I am just thinking also, about the ones who are nice people who are turned back day after day in their desperate need for help in France, at our own borders, and many other places throughout the world.  

Where can we feel useful when we do not have the power of those who run our country? Prayer is always the conduit which offers relief that we may never understand or know. Other means of communication give each of us the opportunity to let officials know that every person is a child of God and should be treated with respect and dignity. God commands us to treat each other with respect. He says, “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Your children cover the earth. Those in poverty and desperate need are everywhere. Keep us from selfishness that precludes us from seeing needs in others and seeking to help our brothers and sisters wherever they may be. Help us to love with the unconditional love you have for each of us. Show us ways to act on your generous love. Amen. 

Florence Smallfield