Daily Riches: Learning From the Poor (Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen and Bernard of Clairvaux)

“The mystery of ministry is that the Lord is to be found where we minister. That is what Jesus tells us when he says: ‘Insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40). Our care for people thus becomes the way to meet the Lord. The more we give, support, guide, counsel and visit, the more we receive, not just similar gifts, but the Lord himself. To go to the poor is to go to the Lord.” Henri Nouwen

“… shopping, banking, even living in the poorer districts of our area will do much to lend substance to our grasp of how the economically deprived experience their world—and ours. This will add a great substance to our understanding, prayers, and caring that can never be gained by an occasional ‘charity run’ or by sending money to organizations that work with the poor. Remember, Jesus did not send help. He came among us.” Dallas Willard

“Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.” Bernard of Clairvaux

“…be willing to associate with people of low position.”  Romans 12:16

Moving From the Head to the Heart

Everyone is at a different place when it comes to ministry to the poor. Some of us make “charity runs”, some “send money” to international or local aid organizations, some have yet to do much of anything. Nouwen even discusses whether it’s possible to truly share the life of the poor by living among them (Gracias!, 115). It’s not always easy to help, but we try.

  • Do you see loving the poor as something that defines what it means for you to love Jesus?
  • Do you regularly do anything that helps you to grasp how the poor “experience their world—and ours?”
  • Can you set aside some quiet time before God in the next week where you ask him to show you about his love for the poor and what that might mean for you?


For More: The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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