An Alarming Contradiction

I live in what is called the most affluent county in Georgia and according to statistics, the 30th wealthiest in the nation. Before you think I’m all high-rent and ask me for a loan, please understand that we were here before the rich folks came. Almost all of the trailer parks are now gone, replaced by huge communities with dozens of tennis courts and golf courses. I’ve got nothing against them besides the fact that I live close enough to walk to their club house but can’t afford the green fee.toilet

There was this guy nearby who wouldn’t sell his mobile home to a developer, so they just raised fence and built around it – kinda like Mr. Fredrickson in UP. To get back at them, he put an old toilet in the center of his lawn, lifted the lid, and used it for a planter. I love that guy.

With all the money around here, I guess its easy to let folks slip through. I suppose we see what we want to see and look past what is inconvenient. Downtown, the county is building a new municipal complex with the following estimated costs:

  1. Jail  – $41.5 million
  2. Courthouse – $31 million
  3. Two new parking facilities – $7.9 million
  4. Other renovations – $1 million

I’m not too good with numbers, but my calculator says that is $81.4 million in total. Does that seem a vast sum to anyone else?

I drove literally a couple hundred yards past the complex yesterday to help some good folks who are gutting a house for homeless men of the area. They already have two renovated houses in operation, within sight of the crane erecting the massive new government buildings. I sanded drywall, painted, and got to jack up the house  (which is an awesome thing to add to my resume of experiences! Yes, I have now jacked up a house.) I worked with several men from area churches and side-by-side with three of the residents who had been homeless…right here, in the richest county in the state…neighbors of an $81.4 million complex being built to mete out justice. An alarming contradiction.

These are good men, who don’t take for granted what they’ve been through, and are grateful for what they now have. They weren’t paid for their labor. They worked with us only to help more men get under roofs.

I’ve been blessed to work with homeless ministries in nearby Atlanta. But that is the big city with big city problems.  That is there…not here. I don’t have any grand answers, not even a proposal. All I can do is work with my hands; smooth a ceiling and jack a house.

I try to be funny most of the time here on my blog, and genuine always. I’ll be lighter tomorrow. But today, my heart hurts a little.

Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked.

Psalm 82:3-4