You wanna find Jesus? Don't look in the churches. Don't look on the internet or in the library. You wanna know where Jesus is? He's not hanging out in the home with a white picket fence, he looks at the suburbs from a distance. He's not in the white house--wouldn't even get past the gates. Don't look in the banks, don't look in the office buildings, don't look in the universities or the seminaries. He's not wearing a uniform and he's not sporting a flag on his lapel. You want to know where to find Jesus? He's living on the streets, he's eating in the rescue missions, he's sleeping under the overpass. He's struggling for enough money to pay his next bill, he's working hard and getting nowhere. Jesus is the one you're afraid to talk to, hesitant to offer offer a dollar. Jesus is the one you assume is an addict, lazy, illegal.
Jesus is the poor. If you want to find him, you'll have to make him your priority. You'll have to start orienting your life in his direction. You'll have to start loving him with your words, with your actions. You'll have to start voting on his behalf and demanding that others do the same. You'll have to get to know him, hear his story, and identify with him as your brother and your friend. There is no salvation without Jesus. There's no hope without Jesus. We wait for our future by waiting for his future, for the future of the least and the last.
"Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.
Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.
Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.
Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.
Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.
Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.
Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.
Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.
Being poor is seeing how few options you have.
Being poor is running in place.
Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave." -John Scalzi (from The Rich and the Rest of Us by Cornel West and Tavis Smiley)