Two Streams

Jesus told His followers: The world hates you. I’ve been thinking about that.

Is it true? Surely, not everyone hates us. Recently, I have observed two different streams within western society – the ‘Lorders and Hoarders’ and the ‘Carers and Sharers’.

You know who I mean by the ‘Lorders and Hoarders’, don’t you? They don’t mind who they exploit or tread on, so long as No. 1 is powerful and rich. Ethical principles are there to be circumvented. Profit is what counts, whatever the impact on society or the environment. They are not our friends. In fact, Jesus warned us about them: “The rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them”; and “Be on your guard against wanting to have more and more things. Life is not made up of how much a person has.”

But I also encounter many ‘Carers and Sharers’. For them, everyone has a right to a free and healthy life, adequate housing, education, medical services. They encourage interaction among neighbours, even those with a different skin colour, language or religion. They are the first to show warmth to the traumatised refugees who have been relocated to that dilapidated house on the corner; they offer to mind the despairing single mother’s baby now and then, and to do the shopping for the doddery old man down the road; they don’t mind lending someone their lawnmower or car; they train their children to accept second-hand clothes and to give away the toys they no longer use.

When surrounded by a crowd, most of whom were not yet his true followers, Jesus said: “When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it – quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” The ‘Carers and Sharers’ may not acknowledge Jesus as their Lord but, on the whole, they behave like His friends – and ours. Nor do they hate us.

We keep begging God: “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Is it possible that He is beginning to answer our prayer through ‘Carers and Sharers’ who don’t yet know Him?

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