Today I was going to head up to Paseo MiraMar and hike up in order to get the glorious panorama from downtown LA to the Santa Monica Bay and beyond. But, with no clouds in the sky, I figured the sky wouldn’t be very interesting. On my way, I noticed the kite surfers in the ocean, so I pulled over to shoot them. They were jumping in the waves and I fired off a couple of shots, but I was too far away and the images just didn’t ‘speak to me’. Just off the path to the side was this homeless gentleman. It seemed as though his homelessness wasn’t due to choice or addiction, but mental issues. After spending about an hour shooting various images, I came back to this gentleman who was still in the same position. I fired off an image, and headed home. Once I got my car loaded up, I noticed him walking up the road, then scavenged in a trashcan for what I could only assume was something to eat. The juxtapose that with my drive home where I was behind a Lamborghini, a few BMWs, and a Porsche. In spite of our society’s great wealth and prosperity (the most prosperous in all of history), it still saddens me to see the marginalized.
10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 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.’
Sometimes I have a tendency to judge ‘homeless’ determining whether or not that individual should receive ‘my’ hard earned money. But, we are commanded to open our hands wide to the needy and the poor. And BTW, there will always be poor in the land, so that leads me to believe also that no amount of legislation will solve the problem. In fact, it would appear that government intervention actually makes things worse through its unintended consequences of keeping people in a state of need. Churches invest a lot in buildings, staff, activities, with a smaller percentage going to actual need. When looking at non-profits, such as World Vision or ChildFund International, they donate 80% minimum in order to maintain there status. Anyway, I’ve been feeling more and more conflicted about poverty, my faith, but more importantly, the intersection of the two. How I respond, how tightfisted vs. open-handed I am, and where my priorities lie. As Ted once said to Bill, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K!” I’m curious to see where I’m being led.
Shot with 5D3, 70-200mm f/2.8L @ f/6.3, 200mm, 1/2000″, ISO 800.