What is welfare?
Government-provided support for those unable to support themselves. In the United States, it is undertaken by various federal, state, and local agencies under the auspices of different programs, the best known of which are Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and food stamps.
The sort of things I hear people say about welfare recipients:
- They want something for nothing.
- They should get a job.
- They get welfare so they can afford drugs.
- If they would quit having so many kids they wouldn’t need welfare.
- They know how to work the system.
But what if the people who were receiving government assistance (i.e. welfare) aren’t really asking for a hand out? What if they have a job they work hard at? What if they have never been an addict a day in their lives? What if they believed that babies were a blessing from God? What if they wished they didn’t need welfare, but they just don’t have the money to take care of rising health care cost, housing and energy bills?
What if this were the face of welfare?
Then what would you say?
This is a much more typical looking welfare family. Many of us have given up lucrative secular jobs to devote our lives to ministry, non-profits and even the military.
We aren’t lazy. In fact we work tireless hours in situations that most people avoid. We go into the secret places of our community to bring light, give support and to defend and protect forgotten people.
We work side jobs. We have yard sales to pay bills. We even pay taxes.
We dress our children in thrift store clothes. We clip coupons, chase sales and sometimes just go without. We do it so that we can keep serving and ministering. We do it so we can keep standing watch over our churches, neighborhoods, cities and nation.
We do it for you.
So the next time you judge nameless people on welfare, give it face. Give it my face.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Prov. 19:17