5 July, 2011 15:40

by pastortimfowler

After a long weekend I should be rested and ready to go, but I feel tired and ready to stay. No rest for the weary at my house on the 4th of July weekend. Every kid in the ‘hood had fireworks and from the time it was almost dark until the wee hours it sounded like a war zone. Add to that a dog that is petrified of the noise and another who thinks that she should go outside and bark at them and that equals little sleep.
For any holiday that is celebrated with fireworks, the people of my community start warming up a couple of days before and usually continue for a couple of day after. This has been the norm for as long as I have lived there and that has been 8 years now. You might think that this is just a very patriotic crowd, but it is not. They may be patriotic, I don’t really know, but that is not the reason they do this. I can’t for the life of me understand the obsession, but I wish that I could open a fireworks stand for those weeks because then I could probably afford to move.
When we moved here we did it because of our church. We want to live in the place that we serve in. We really want to know the people and help if we can and be part of their lives in some way. For years we helped with food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and education. We tried to learn where folks were hurting and how our church could help ease the pain. But something weird keeps happening and it is not just in our ‘hood, it is everywhere in America that there is a “low-income neighborhood”. I remind you that I am qualified to say these things that I am getting ready to say because I live there and am trying to be part of the solution.
How can someone be so poor that they can’t buy food without food stamps but can afford enough fireworks to last for days? You can’t pay your light bill or your rent, but you can keep me awake all night with the explosions you can afford. This makes no sense. It is not just fireworks, but almost every kid in the ‘hood has a cellphone and are using it all the time. We could not give away Wranglers and generic shirts because they weren’t FUBU. I went to buy me a FUBU outfit and couldn’t afford it, but the people I am trying to help can.
I had one family who wanted us to pay their rent, pull up in a fairly new F-150 pulling a very nice grill and smoker combo on wheels. I know that I could have sold that combo for about $1000 and that covers anyone’s rent in that ‘hood for sure. I don’t think these guys were originally from here because they didn’t speak English and when I ask if they were legally here they quickly drove away.
I love our country and the opportunities it offers. I love the generosity of the people in the USA and the way we go out of our way to help those who are in need. Yet I hear people all the time getting upset about poor people and illegal people misusing the system. Being poor is never going to be eliminated and because of that, there will always be ministry for those who want to help. The problem is trying to wade through the stupidity of those who ask for help while wearing designer cloths, talking on their cell phone and shooting hundreds of dollars of fireworks all night long, as they beg for help to pay their light bill and helping someone who is truly in need.
I pray for wisdom as I continue to live in the ‘hood. I pray that people will wise up and quit blowing money on fireworks and start paying their bills. I pray that I will always have a heart for those less fortunate than myself and that if I have to lose sleep it will be because of my burden to help not because of the noise of fireworks that they can’t afford.

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2 Comments to “5 July, 2011 15:40”

  1. Amen….I too am in the hood and get so frustrated with the name brand dressed kids in $200 tennis shoes, playing on the newest game system, with the latest cell phone and teasing my children because they don’t have the same but coming in to my house to take advantage of my internet and air conditioner because their power is off…..because mom works and doesn’t get a subsidy check, free health care and food stamps.

  2. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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