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The Resistance Prays

January 7, 2019
By Rev. Alyssa A. Aldape

Today's Top Story
Much uncertainty looms over millions of low-income Americans as lawmakers continue their fight with the president. - via Politico
The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. - Amos 8:7
There's No Shame In Receiving - Only In Withholding
  • When I was between the ages of 3 and 6, my family benefited from programs like WIC and SNAP. My mother and father hustled and worked hard to provide for me and my brother. I grew up hearing the family narrative of the ways God and people supported my parents as they created a life for us that they didn’t have growing up. To me getting help was not shameful. I went to school with children on the west side of San Antonio, TX who had similar narratives. When I got older, I learned of the shame in admitting to using these programs. Or the myth that to be on government assistance was some sort of mark against your character. I could not and will not allow that to be a taboo we ignore and continue to keep in the dark.
  • There is no shame in receiving government assistance. Full stop.  
  • Today's article says that it's unclear who makes the final decision on how the SNAP program is funded after January or what will happen in February if the government is still shut down. The lack of clarity has people worried and confused. As we hear stories of government workers getting furloughed and being asked to work without pay, let us not forget those who rely on resources like SNAP and other local benefits.
  • In the Amos passage, we learn of the foolish acts of God’s people - ignoring the poor and profiting from their vulnerability. The prophet Amos warns them of what will happen. And I wonder - will we remember the foolish acts of lawmakers or ignore them in the next election cycle? Will we hold them accountable? Will we hold ourselves accountable in the decision we make? 
  • The president is fighting to get the funds to build his idol of a wall. Lawmakers continue to receive paychecks. Meanwhile, those who truly feel the effects are left hoping to get the okay to return to work or the notification that they’ve been paid.
Be mindful of those in your community who rely on food stamps and other public-assistance programs. While admitting to using SNAP is still wrapped in much shame, recognize that there are many who worry about their food security. Call your representatives and demand that they give you a clear answer about SNAP funding for February and beyond.
God of liberation, who walked with the hungry, the sick, the poor, remind us of our call to your inclusive love and work of justice. Give us the wisdom and courage to speak up and act up in these times, and may we never stop hearing your Voice in these days when we need it the most. Amen.
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