If you haven’t already seen the video or heard of it you can click the link above but here’s the summary. Angela Adams is 37 years old and has 15 children with 3 different men. Her rent had been paid for and furniture provided by various social services. Since her fiance has been incarcerated times have been tough, there is no food or clothing and Ms. Adams says “Somebody needs to pay for aalll these children (insert wide arm gestures encompassing her brood). Somebody needs to be accountable”. Of course this has started a frenzy of talk on how people think they’re entitled and general Republican puffed chest indignation. Being part of a middle class American family that pays dearly for health insurance, whose husbands first check of 2013 was less than usual as we paid two dollars for more for staples at the grocery store that was my first instinct as well. Then I looked at the 12 sets of big brown eyes behind her. Hungry babies who were not responsible for their mothers ignorant words or poor decisions.
The words of Mother Theresa in her book “No Greater Love” were called to my mind:
“You can touch the sick, the leper and believe that it is the body of Christ you are touching, but it is much more difficult when these people are drunk or shouting to think that this is Jesus in His distressing disguise. How clean and loving our hands must be to be able to bring that compassion to them!”
“We tell people how kind, forgiving, and understanding God is, but are we the living proof? Can they really see this kindness, this forgiveness, this understanding alive in us?”
Angela Adams is our drunkard. We have to love her and those children even if we don’t want too, even if she thinks she’s entitled to it. As the saying goes “Those that are hardest to love need it the most”. You see, I don’t buy into a “Me and Jesus” mindset. I think it should be more “Me as Jesus”. Christians are to be the body of Christ here on earth, continuing His work and showing His Love to all. We don’t just get to be the mouth, or choose to be the do nothing appendix. We have to be the hands and feet that do the work, even if it’s dirty work. We don’t get to choose who we serve with these hands or who is deserving. Jesus thought we all were.
Something definitely needs to be done about the sense of entitlement in this country. There’s no getting around that. I’ve worked in a setting with the Angela Adams of the world. I took care of their children while they went to school, or work or even back home to the couch, the hair salon, the tanning bed. They paid little to nothing for their children to have 2 hot meals, diapers and love all day while my child was in a daycare center that I paid big bucks to for my child to have crackers passed off as breakfast. It was hard to be kind, giving and generous. But “picking up our cross” isn’t supposed to be easy.
Maybe Ms. Adams wouldn’t have been on the news if there were more hands doing our work. If neighbors had offered to take in a child until things turned around, if some kind people had seen a need and met it. Picked up groceries for her as they picked out their own, offered her a job, treated her with respect so she might respect herself more. Maybe all 15 of those children are here because she was “wookin’ pa nub in all the wong paces” (that’s Eddie Murphy singing as Buckwheat by the way).
Let’s start beating Jesus at his game of hide-and-seek. Even if it’s just with a smile and a friendly greeting to that lady in front of you who’s dressed to the nines pulling out her EBT card to buy pork rinds. He’s like a parent playing Candy Land, giving us every opportunity to win.