Nobody Is Ready
The burden on my soul tonight is massive.
Dependence in itself is not a sin, nor necessarily a symptom or result of sins. It’s what you do with your dependencies.
In ancient times, righteous people would keep an eye out for widows and orphans, the most vulnerable in their society. When things worked well, the clan took them into their homes, as required by God’s Laws. Too often, they would find themselves isolated when the man of the house died, because they weren’t near any relatives on either side, perhaps in a foreign land. You may remember the story of Ruth.
In modern times, orphans are kidnapped by the state and we seldom see them again. We are left with single moms, sort of a widow-in-effect in our badly broken world. My community has several of them. In yet another symptom of our broken society, most of them are a bottomless pit of neediness in one way or another, and it affects their chances of gaining another breadwinner. A few are quite attractive, but they chase the wrong kind of men, or quickly betray their other flaws and even good guys won’t hang around.
Game Theory explains most of it, but that’s not what this is about.
Rather, it’s another chance to examine the fatal flaw in our society of dependence. These are real world examples of small disasters waiting to become monumental tragedies. In each case, the women are clinging to behavior patterns and past behaviors and refusing to change, so far. I’ve talked to most of them enough to recognize typical folly.
I don’t dismiss them, but offer only what I can. That is, in light of what the Lord has placed in my hands and told me was important to my mission, I give them what He puts in my heart to give. It’s frankly a chore to prevent them latching onto me with demands for more than I can righteously supply. We aren’t even talking about sex. Each one in her own way is like a black hole, with her own mixture of bottomless need. It’s not easy to say “no,” particulary as each has developed some coping mechanism which includes generous doses of manipulation.
In no uncertain terms the Lord has warned me I cannot regard them as “neighbors” as Jesus taught the term. They are a threat in one way or another. I cannot put their needs in the same basket as mine. But I still offer what I can, at least as much as I would my enemies.
I’ll bet you know some people like that.
As this time of tribulation grows worse for us, they will come out the woodwork, and you’ll wonder where they’ve been hiding all this time. They’re hiding right now behind a system which does everything possible to make them dependent. Do we not refer to welfare assitance officially as “entitlements”? There are whole cities where such people are the dominant life form. But as the government jerks the supports out from under them — it’s coming all too soon — America will quickly descend into chaos. Think of the New Orleans Superdome in the Katrina aftermath, but multiplied across every part of the country, and not always confined that way. But instead of a natural disaster, more like the aftermath of a war we lose.
Some communities will fare better than others, but I have a hard time imagining it won’t hit someone you know. I don’t have any sage advice on how to turn folks away. You’ll have to discern the limits God demands you observe with your own resources. You’ll have to decide whom to treat as family, or as just another stranger in need.
Nor can I promise God won’t ask you to suffer. Being obedient could still mean His glory demands you sacrifice more than you expect. This nation has really sinned horribly, and we are stuck here right in the middle of an outpouring of wrath few have ever seen in human history. As I look back on what we can know of previous fallen empires, I simply cannot find any who carried out the full range of awful things done here, or in our names elsewhere. It doesn’t matter how much they hid from us, because we didn’t react righteously to the things we did know.
But if enough of us repent, and repent thoroughly enough, things might be just about tolerable for most of us. Trust God for the things you cannot fix.