Who are the vulnerable?
Vulnerable can mean all kinds of things depending on the context. Generally when we define a person’s vulnerability, we think of what they lack. They lack a stable home environment, financial resources, health, relationships… The list goes on…
Biblically, there was the ‘quartet of the vulnerable’, which included widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor. Those people are still considered the vulnerable, but, as Keller points out, our definition of the vulnerable has now increased to include “refugees, migrant workers, some single parents, and the elderly.”
Who are the vulnerable around us?
Throughout the Bible, we, as Christians, are called to serve the vulnerable. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “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.’” Every day most of us interact with a wide variety of individuals. We see people at work, at the store, and in our neighborhoods. But are any of those people that we interact with vulnerable? What if none of those people are vulnerable? Are we living our lives in a Christ like manner if we are not intentionally searching out and serving the vulnerable around us?
I think we are called to be intentional about serving. We all have excuses and go through different chapters in our lives where it may not be easy to serve others. However, loving our neighbors and caring for the oppressed is a huge part of our Biblical calling. So, I don’t think it’s ok to sit back and float through life not actively pursuing justice for the vulnerable. I challenge all of us to go out this week and look for one opportunity to serve the vulnerable. Here are a few ideas:
- Invite the homeless person that you see everyday out for lunch.
- Find an ESL program to volunteer at where you can help migrant workers, immigrants, or refugees with their English.
- Team up with your neighbors and initiate an end of school year cleanup day in your area. Invite families from the school to join in and have a potluck after you clean up trash from the area.
- Offer a day of free childcare to the single mother who lives down the road.
Helping the vulnerable is something we should be actively incorporating into our lives on a regular basis. These are just a few ideas to get you started. Get creative and see where God leads as you serve those in need.Image Courtesy of Harris County Public Library / Flickr.com