I loved this wonderful blog post by Dr. Oliver-Snyder, Words and Creation. The focus of being quiet and mindful with one another in order to have understanding, peace and grace is wonderful and well put – along with the meditative picture that she created with the wonderful quote.
I also like this quote:
Much of the criticism that is made in Zechariah (and the reason for Israel’s demise) surrounds the unfair treatment of the underrepresented such as the use of manipulated weights for measuring the worth of merchandise, or taking advantage of another’s setback. The oracle understood that if a few possessed a great deal of wealth while others in the community were destitute, there was something very wrong with the manner in which the society functioned.
It made me think of this Fresh Air interview I recently listened to: Why More Americans Are Giving Up On Banks. In this interview, author Lisa Servon, author of The Unbanking of America, shares how a growing number of Americans are finding alternatives to traditional banks such as using Payday Loan or Cash for Check Agencies. I’ve always looked at those places with disdain and viewed them as predatory to middle to low income people. After listening to this very informed author, I don’t see it quite this way anymore and was just flabbergasted to learn that in 2011, Americans paid $38 billion just in overdraft fees! Servon shared how banks now make most of their money and use tricks to increase these kinds of fees that basically target lower-income customers. I look at all the things like these, that are somewhat a result of deregulation, and see how there are those in society who find ways to focus on taking advantage of the middle to lower-income demographic for financial gain and in a sense keep them in that place by continuing to a cycle of fees and dependence and create an unequal burden for those less privileged.
Which brings me back to Dr. Oliver-Snyder’s quote above that when those with wealth take unfair advantage of those without, that there is “something very wrong with the manner in which the society functioned.” And this message is seen repeatedly throughout Scripture in both the Old Testament and in the words of Jesus in the New Testament.
I see this as a moral issue. But we often ignore this as a moral issue and call other things as vastly more significant on the moral standing.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.