For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to the poor, and to the needy, in the land.
–– Deuteronomy 15:11
We might say that the altruistic and accommodating Mr Anthony DaSilva –– not remotely being hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards a poor Barbadian sister –– did bring a welcome measure of relief to a plight-stricken mother of eight when he turned up at her My Lord’s Hill doorstep yesterday morning with food vouchers worth $2,500.
To boot, the chairman of Innotech, a construction firm, has pledged to restore (perhaps, replace) her dilapidated home, especially for the sake of the children –– and, by his own initiative, out of the glare of unnecessary publicity and addressed “privately” with the mum at “a later date”.
No doubt, as proffered in principle by the prophet Moses, inspired by the Divine, and reinforced by Jesus as he spoke to His disciples, Mr DaSilva may expect, having lent a hand to a sister in dire need lest his heart be further grieved, that in his giving, the Lord our God will bless him in all his works and all that he puts his hands to.
Indeed, all you other considerate fellow Barbadians who have called or otherwise communicated with us at Barbados TODAY on your pledges to assist the unfortunate Ms Harriett Hackett and her children will benefit too from the Almighty’s blessings.
For having given freely, with no grudging heart, the good Lord too will hallow you in all your goings and comings; in all that you undertake.
And we are particularly impressed by these supportive members of our community, in Ms Hackett’s case, who would rather be their neighbour’s keeper without the gratuitous hullabaloo, who when they do alms would rather not sound a trumpet before it –– as Jesus would say –– like “the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets” (Matthew 6:2).
When Jesus told His disciples they would not have Him around for ever, but “the poor always with you” (Matthew 26:11), he was indeed echoing the sentiments of Moses; but more importantly He was underscoring the point that there was no end period for poverty by the calendar. Its elimination or alleviation, at least, would come only by the goodness from the hearts of those of us better off.
The prosperity preachers among us may very well have a quite different take on being poor, based on their credo of self-responsibility for thinking oneself out of poverty. But we daresay that humanity in its purest element demands we help the weaker and lesser among us whenever we truly can.
There are those persons who will point the needy to Government welfare and other social entities. But charities alone cannot do the job. Even so, charities depend yet upon those of us who are more prosperous.
The answer lies really in our Christian will to love the poor who live among us as we love ourselves. It lies in the consideration for those who eat weekly and bimonthly what the more moneyed of us eat daily.
Some families eat their cereal with tap water –– not milk; eat bread with air –– not butter. Other family members yet make their daily rounds with a stomach full of gas –– not victuals.
Meanwhile, those of us who can, and will, feast upon and oft-times waste foods of our choice day in day out.
It is to these, in particular, of the human race that God exhorts that they open wide their hands to their brothers and sisters, to the needy and to the poor in their land.
Ms Hackett herself recognizes there are others like her in need of help. So does charitable Innotech chairman Mr DaSilva; and he is urging others who can to help the disadvantaged among us.
And, because, regrettably, there will always be the dispossessed, as there is no reset button to opulence and luxury, God expects his people ever to be generous to these poor. Amen!