As much as I support the Occupy Wall Street movement and their desire for unity and fair finances, I question their practices as well as the source of their motives. Is it coming from a spiritual place, a sort of righteous rebuking of inequality and injustice, or from a place of anger and hate? Should they be holding signs that say, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:24). Or maybe, “With God all things are possible.” Is the argument really about equality or is it about money? Since I cannot step into the mind of every protester, I can only say that I am not angry with the rich for the world’s inequality. While I agree that this cannot continue and something must be done, I am not angry with anyone. I don’t blame the rich. I don’t blame the politicians. The problems of this world began way before any of our politicians or bank executives or CEOs were ever born. The problems began when a woman named Eve and a man named Adam decided to ignore God’s authority. Let’s not make the same mistake.
During our New York trip, we passed a woman sitting on the corner, toddler on her lap, cardboard sign next to her with some misspelled words that read, “I was eviced from my home I have no job I have no mone Please help.” It was clear she was an immigrant. I admit that at first I didn’t even notice her because we were in a hurry. A crowd of protesters was marching on the other side of the street and we were trying to get clear of the chaos. My wife, however, had spotted the woman and could not contain her compassion. “Jason, it’s killing me,” she said. “I know we’re really not supposed to give money to people, but I can’t take it.” She handed me some cash.
I heard the familiar voice in my head. I’m convinced it is the same voice that tempted Eve to eat from the tree of life. That woman will be fine without your money. She’s probably here illegally. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t have a job or a house. What if she’s scamming you? But these thoughts were silenced by the nearby protesters chanting, “We are the 99%! We are the 99%!” I sprinted back to the woman and reached out my hand to her, the money between my fingers. Rather than just take the money, she reached out with both her hands and gripped mine. I was alarmed until I saw her eyes begin to shine with tears as she repeated in broken English, “Thank you. Thank you.” Once again, I cried.
“You’re welcome,” I said.