As I have mentioned before, John and I met at Bishop’s University. Bishop’s was strong academically, but also close to ski hills and golf courses. Because of this, it was sometimes called “The Country Club of the Eastern Townships”.

With these multiple attractions, it attracted many young people from wealthy homes. One family, in particular, had sent several children to Bishop’s. John and I, separately, got to know two of the youngest boys.

Years later, I picked up a magazine and saw a lengthy article about their older brother.

He has done very well for himself in a number of areas. But what fascinated me was this:

Apparently, as a young man, he was floundering. Simply didn’t know what to do with his life and had not made much of a beginning at anything. A bit of a ‘ne’er do well’, I guess.

So his father sat him down and said he would go through a list of all the companies/corporations where he had friends that could give this young man employment. They would start with “A” and go right through the alphabet until they found something suitable.

That is how he got his start.

Then I think of the people we have gotten to know through our rentals in north Georgia. They come from bits and pieces of families with no meaningful oversight, and so very much to destroy them. One wrong step – which they usually make – and they can’t recover. Ever. There is no support to help them get back on track. And often, the whole train has long been derailed anyway.

The disparities in life fascinate me.

I am glad for those people who have strong, intact families and give their young people a leg up when they need it. I ache for the others who make a bad decision and are going to live with the consequences forever.

Such is life. Always has been and always will be. “The poor you will always have among you”.

But it is lovely that God’s heart is moved by the vulnerable. The early apostles sought out the poor very specifically to tell them the good news. And so have so many Christians through the ages.

And the Old Testament prophets raged when their plight was the result of injustice.

Still, whatever the circumstances, there is only one thing that can systematically lift people from poverty in great numbers.

Not a ‘thing’ at all.

Our one God. Who restores the soul and makes all things new.

A Father for the fatherless.

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