Open Wide Your Hand

You shall give to the poor freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land. Deuteronomy 15:10-11

There may be no clearer declaration of what it means to be “God’s people” than this statement.  It means an ungrudging openness of heart, mind and means to the poor.  It recognizes that poverty, at least in the eyes of the writer of these words, has no foreseeable end.

Even if we might imagine ways to ultimately eradicate poverty, we are not there yet, and being tuned in to Divine Wisdom asks us for this:

Open minds.  Open hearts.  And the willingness to give.

To the poor.

Bob Patrick

Open Wide Your Hands

You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land. Deuteronomy 15:10-11

These teachings in Deuteronomy were likely the product of memory:  the memory of what it was like to be the poor in the land, the stranger in the land, the needy.  The Jewish people spent time as captives in Babylon, taken away from all that was sacred and home to them.  Sacred, safe, sure, and secure. We do not think of anything as sacred that is not also safe and trustworthy and dependable.

God’s directive came through memory.  Remember what it was like?  There are poor and needy among you.  Open wide your hands–because you remember.  No.  I didn’t ask their religion, skin color, how they smell, whether they have papers or whether you think they deserve it or not.  Open wide your hands.

Bob Patrick