I think poverty here is far worse than poverty in the poorest of countries.
Thanks to the great efforts of Ken Leslie and a whole cadre of people who have hearts like I've never seen, I had the privilege today of volunteering at "Tent City" which is described as a "weekend-long event in Toledo that delivers the entire community's compassion to those who often see none."
For those of you who know me, I've spent many years working with the poorest in one of the poorest countries in the world, Guatemala. But today I heard stories that made me cry more than I’ve ever cried in that poorest country. I thought I had heard it all in Guatemala - 14 people living on a dirt floor in one room with almost no food. Children dying prematurely. Mothers dying in childbirth all too often. But somehow the stories today were harder to hear - especially when they were from people living in the richest country in this world. I left today sobbing thinking how it's really just not right. How can a country like ours with so many people living in comfort, in security, in wealth ALLOW this kind of human tragedy to be in their midst. How can I?
I saw hundreds of people today who have had their dignity taken away.
I asked one woman "So where do you live?" And she said "Oh, not too far from here. There's a grassy spot on the corner of such and such where I usually stay. But sometimes I get to sleep inside a room that’s warm but I don't like it too much because they sell me.
And I responded in confusion "They sell you...like for sex?" And she says "Yeah, I hate it because I wake up and there's some guy on top of me"
And then I say "So you get some money?" And she says "No, but I get a warm place to sleep"
And with that...I was without words....really? really? 8 miles from where I live with everything I could ever want, you have to experience that?
So what happened to the whole idea of God-given souls created equally? You know, those souls that we pro-life people fight for with such passion? The souls that we Christians say are so important because our God created them? Do we not all as Americans have a bit of responsibility to fight for those souls?
We're not even talking about food or shelter or water.....we're talking about the most basic of basics....dignity. There are more people here in our country living in LONELINESS than there are in Guatemala.
How on earth does the United States say it's OK for our own citizens to live like this?
My eyes were opened in a whole new way today. I thank you Steve North for your passion to open the eyes of people like me to see the plight of those who are the most desperate.