The View from the Seesaw

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 16:19-31

“At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus.” (v. 20)

One day, while riding a seesaw with my daughter when she was a small child, she got a thoughtful look on her face, and she declared: “When I am up, you are down!”

When it comes to food and resources, all the world rides a seesaw. One side is up; the other is down. One side is like the rich man; the other side is like poor Lazarus.

The seesaw runs pretty much along north-south lines, the fulcrum being the equator. With one or two exceptions, affluent countries are in the northern hemisphere—America, Europe, Japan. That’s the up side of the seesaw. Poorer countries tend to be in the southern hemisphere—Africa, Asia, the Indian subcontinent. That’s the down side.

The difference in lifestyle and consumption of resources from one end of the seesaw to the other is mind-boggling. Compared to most of the world’s peoples, Americans live like sultans.

Wealthy nations are not at fault for world hunger. It is not wrong to be prosperous. Affluence doesn’t make you bad. It makes you blessed. But there is something dreadfully wrong if those who are affluent can look at Lazarus starving at the low end of the seesaw and do nothing to help him.

PRAYER

Lord, open my eyes to see the poor. Open my hands to help.