Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“Anyone who shows charity to his brother,” a certain Father says, “had best do so as though he were showing charity to himself. Such acts of charity bring a man near to God.”

This Saying hits me in a very personal way this morning, so much so that I am weeping.  As a disabled and handicapped senior citizen living below the poverty line on Social Security, survival is precarious at best.  The past year without a cost of living increase in 2016, it was harder.  2017 looks to be harder still because my food stamp allowance has been cut because my social security increased by a lousy $5 a month.

For the past two years, I have been dependent upon a food bank that allows me to select what I want, rather than hand me a pre-selected assortment. The advantage to the former is that since I have diabetes, I have found that protein and non-starchy veggies give me the most control over diabetes. The pre-selected offerings from other food banks are all carb heavy because those are the cheap foods. But the food bank has informed that as a result of so many people having cuts to their food stamps, I, as a single person in a household of one, can only come to the food bank every other month.  That was my main source of food.

How do I show charity to any when I do not have enough for myself? I want to be charitable.  I want to give.  I have no money to give and sadly, it All Too Frequently feels as is that us the only thing that is wanted from me.  I have other things to give and I would give freely and joyfully and extravagantly of my gifts, skills, and talents if only they were wanted as much as money.

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