Last night it was my joy to go with my son Dan to the Philly Auto Show. Andrew had to work, so my 14 year old and I went to enjoy one of our favorite things - cool cars.
I love cars. I know that is not something unique, but with me it goes much deeper. I understand Fahvergnugen (the feeling you get when you and your car are one). From a young man I grew up appreciating and being able to identify vehicles. I can feel every stutter, bump, and sound a car that I drive makes. I love older muscle cars, I hate cars of the 1970's-80's. My present favorite car is the Nissan GT-R.
As we walked through the rows and rows of cars, we saw everything from Lambos to Bentley's to Subaru Tuners to hybrid McLarens. I can't even imagine the net value of the hundred's of cars in that room. I imagine it is in the upper millions.
As we drove away from drooling over the new Z06 and HellCat, I couldn't help thinking of the people of Tent City Maryland, just a few miles from our church. God has allowed us to minister to several of these homeless folks through our God's Helping Hands ministry.
What a dichotomy of reality that only a few miles apart there are people that dream about $500,000 cars and people who dream about having food, being warm, being clean, being safe, having a roof over their heads. A man told me this week "we can't help all the poor people". This is true - but wouldn't the love of Christ within us would have us help some?
Conservative Christians in my view are way behind the curve in this. In Elkton, Md. where "Tent City" is located, it is the liberal churches, for the most part, that are engaging with the poor. They are feeding them, housing them, clothing them, helping them. Are we so afraid of the social gospel that we cannot do something systematic and substantive to get our hands dirty helping them while we give them the true Gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus?
We cry for "Revival" and yet our sins of neglect and elitism distance us from following Christ. God help us to know how to engage with the poor around us - not to empower their irresponsibility, but to show them the love of Christ and perhaps lift them to salvation and self dependency.