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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Les Miserables: Looking Into the Eyes of Misery

Les Miserables: Looking Into the Eyes of Misery
I submit to you today that looking into the eyes of misery is one way to bridge the gap of income inequality. As each of the millions of us choose to bridge the income gap with compassion instead of barricading it with arrogance, we will be closer to heaven.



Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Leadership: What Difference Will I Make?

Les Miserables: Looking Into the Eyes of Misery

By Evan Nehring

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
This is the sixth in my series on poverty. Col and I watched Les Mis last night, the Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Ann Hathaway recent rendition. Ann Hathaway is Fantine. She sings her broken tale.
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed
She is the face of despair. Hers are the eyes of misery. They draw me once again to the plight of the poor. If you and I are not drawn by compassion to look into the eyes of misery, our own souls are lost.

Every solution is on the table as we bring the heart of Jesus to the eyes of misery. If you and I are to put on the ruling robes of a free people, we must chose the best solutions. Throwing money at a vast bureaucracy will not do. People care. Bureaucracies don't. If the vast bureaucracy best serves the poor, let's do that...but I don't believe it does.

I'm a card-carrying Republican and I believe in conservative solutions. That said, I hold this against the Republican party: we don't look into the eyes of misery as clearly and publicly as we should. We should have poverty planks in every platform from dogcatcher to President, not to manipulate the electorate but to show that good, godly people will always look into the eyes of misery.

Photo Credit: movieCax.com on Flickr Creative Commons












I suppose one of the perks of personal success is that you don't have to stare survival in the face every day. But what if we did? I'm fine with giving a hand up instead of a hand out. I'm fine with dignified training and work programs. All of it, though, if it is to succeed in truly helping the needy, will spring from the human connection.

Income inequality isn't all bad. Effort, skill, wisdom, and keeping one's nose clean should all be rewarded handsomely. Those rewards rightly remove us from desperation. But Jesus left heaven to reach out to the desperate. Can we look into their eyes? Can we chit chat? Can we do things together? Can our kids play together? 

I submit to you today that looking into the eyes of misery is one way to bridge the gap of income inequality. As each of the millions of us choose to bridge the income gap with compassion instead of barricading it with arrogance, we will be closer to heaven.

 You can find the rest of my poverty posts here.

Comments Are Always Welcome...

Have you looked into the eyes of misery lately? I'd love to hear about what you saw, and what they saw in you.

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2 comments:

  1. Great post Evan. The Republican party has done a poor job of putting forth ideas to help those in need. It is easy to ignore those who really need help when choose to look away. Though not card carrying I am conservative. Yet my faith will always trump my politics. - Let's look squarely in the eyes of misery, and hopefully we love them as Jesus did.

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    1. Jon, I certainly don't mean to throw the Republican Party under the bus. I AM the Republican Party. Conservative solutions are the answer to poverty. Free markets offer opportunity unprecedented in the history of mankind. I just feel we need to speak directly to the poor, not just about them. Starts with you and me, right?

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