At our recent Homeless Task Force meeting someone shared the following quote from Roberta Hestenes. It comes from a plenary session address that she did at The Spiritual Formation Forum in May of 2006 here in Long Beach. It is quite a powerful statement!
Any focus on Christian discipleship which persistently ignores or neglects the poor is a defective discipleship. Any spirituality which persistently neglects or ignores the needs of the poor is not a truly biblical spirituality. It is not a Christian spirituality following Jesus. Any adoption of spiritual disciplines to receive the blessings of God or as away to draw closer to God while ignoring, neglecting or mistreating the poor, the hungry, the lost, the stranger in the midst, the widow, the orphan- any use of spiritual disciplines while neglecting or disobeying God in this area is to run the risk of spiritual self-deception and even the danger of the judgment of God. God cares about the poor - not just about the spiritually poor, although in the cross of Jesus Christ he made provision for the full redemption of a lost and broken world. God cares about those who are really, physically marginalized, neglected, broken, diseased, impoverished, forgotten, living on the margins without enough resource to live life as God intended it with dignity and joy. Any spirituality that misses the poor is inadequate, deficient, and needs correction. This passion that God has for the poor runs through the scriptures so pervasively that you almost have to be willfully blind not to see it.
Do I hear any amens? Or other!? Reply if so!