The inner plight of the poor is simply this: many people may be willing to help you financially or materially, and even help you generously, but after having helped you are more than happy to forget about you.
Of course, many untold thousands, millions, or billions have been happy to ignore the poor from the start.
But the meaning of being “poor”, even in the original language of the Old Testament (Hebrew), had the connotations of “weak, dangling, thin, miserable, etc.”
How many untold multitudes of very eligible single males (and, to a lesser extent, single females) have been overlooked, despised, rejected for their love and virtues, because they were poor? How many untold multitudes of arrogant, cruel, wicked rich men and women have been loved and blessed beyond comprehension simply for being rich?
Jesus told John the Baptist’s followers, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: the lame walk, the blind receive their sight, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the sick are made well, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
I have to admit that when I read that passage to this day my first natural reaction inside of me is still: “… looks like the poor are getting the raw deal again; every other class of afflicted person are changed and healed forever; the poor just get to hear some preaching.”
But that’s a cynical and inaccurate assessment. Truth is, the word “gospel” means “good news”. And GOOD NEWS is, to the poor (who are more accustomed than any other class to hearing and having to accept BAD NEWS), what health is to the sick, or what hearing is to the deaf, or what sight is to the blind, or what walking is to the lame.
What’s more, Jesus wasn’t just referring to any Good News, but to His Good News: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes such promises as “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The rich people of Jesus’s day didn’t get to hear such amazingly good news for them, but instead, things like “Sell all that you have and give to the poor, and then come pick up your cross and follow Me,” or, “How hard it is for the rich to enter into heaven! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.”
True, Christ requires all of His followers–rich or poor–to “deny themselves, pick up their cross and follow me,” but for the poor this too will be easier to hear, because it is more likely for them that this is precisely what they have been doing already, their entire lives.
These days I sometimes feel the darts of life shot into my flesh and into my soul. Or I feel like a two-dimensional amoeba, or some squashed and flattened thing, emptied of nearly all qualities and traits except for two: goodness inside me (because of Christ), and evil inside of me (because of myself). I often have beautiful, godly revelations, followed by some gross fall into sin, with no logical link between them.
It is because I am spiritually poor, and for this I have the ever-present hope that God will forgive me and keep accepting His goodness in me, and forgiving the bad which is natural to me.