When I read Vicki Hillhouse’s article — and particularly the headline — in the June 1 issue of the U-B I was shocked and saddened for Walla Walla and for the readers who ascribe to the views expressed.
While I read her article, what kept coming to mind was Matthew 29:31-46. So much of what Matthew said then is very apt, especially in Walla Walla today.
To paraphrase Matthew, when Christ and His angels come for the final judgment, Christ will separate the good from the bad. Those whom the Lord has blessed will pass through and sit on His right hand because, when He was hungry and thirsty, He was given food and water. He was given shelter and clothes. He was cared for when He was ill, and visited in His loneliness. By giving these gifts to the least of God’s people, the righteous man was giving to the Lord.
Then God turned to the people on His left side and banished them from Heaven because when their fellow man suffered and was naked and hungry, sick and alone, homeless and lost, these people on God’s left did not share or help them in their need.
Finally, the Lord said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for Me.” Then He sent them away to eternal damnation, and the righteous man to eternal life.
Having spent some time working with the homeless in Walla Walla, I have come to know some of these people, and also know that some of them prefer to live outdoors, but many of them have no choice. They would appreciate jobs and homes and the means to keep their families together. It’s difficult to go to a job interview with no clean clothes, no means to bathe, and the countless other barriers to employment they face every day.
In the same issue of the U-B as Ms. Hillhouse’s article there was a letter to the editor from Bruce McCutcheon telling of his experience while taking a walk. He saw a bumper sticker that said, “Just act like you care.” Which brings to mind another bumper sticker that said, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
If we all help take care of everyone, then no one will have to beg for food in front of the sidewalk restaurants, and no one will have to “pretend to care.”