Monday, November 24, 2008

Is Church Unnatural?

Last week I felt good about going to church.  I embraced the feeling of community.  My daughters were singing and enjoying themselves.  It was a crisp winter morning and everything was grand.  The week that followed did not share the same sentiment.  My girls were tired.  I had a bad week at work.  Every charity and their brother was hitting me up for some donation.  My to-do list on the house was looming like a ton of bricks.  In a nutshell, I was crabby.  Maybe I should limit myself to one visit to church a quarter.
Anyway, the gospel was about the time when Jesus/God said that whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.  Now that is a tall order.  If that is one of the criteria for getting into Heaven, then Mother Theresa, you must be lonely up there in heaven.  Maybe all those saints that JP2 sent up there was a godsend.  Who hasn't seen a homeless person with their outstretched had and looked the other way?  Who hasn't had someone look at you with pleading eyes looking for some charity while you sit in your car with the windows up waiting for the light to turn green?  It would be impossible to live any any decent size city in the world and live up to this directive.
Is it natural to want to help someone in need?  And holding the door for someone doesn't count or letting someone go first in line or letting a car turn before you do or giving directions to some lost tourist.  I mean if you are walking down the street and see someone lying in the gutter, condition unknown, do you stop and help?  If a beggar comes up to you with an outstretched palm, do you give them money?  If you pass by some homeless person who reeks to high heaven do you take them home, feed them bathe them and give them a change of clothes?  Of course not.  It is not natural.  You simply think to yourself, "That sucks, I'm glad that isn't me."  I'm sure most people have gone out of their way do do some extraordinary work of charity, but the opportunities are there every day. 
If we were that altruistic, it would be a full-time job.  I don't think that it is a bad idea.  One of my early charitable ideas was to enact a rule where everyone had to share half of their wealth everyone they meet.  I guess you could call me a socialist.  But on the other hand, that is just a thought that rarely is put into action so it must not be valid, so it's back to survival of the fittest...gotta get a new slogan (or at least one that I made up).

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