May 26, 2009 Ration

Deuteronomy 15:11

“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.’”

The poor in economy will never cease to be. Therefore we are commanded to open wide our hand to the poor. The artist may even find himself in that economic class. But artists, there are other ways in which people are poor in the land for which you have been given an abundance for their need. All poverty is not of purse. So I encourage you, “…open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”

Artists, you have a grace for other privations. Give, then, a grace according to the need. Give in the currency that you are wealthy in. Do not withhold what will serve another’s need when it is within your soul’s purse to nourish their spirit. This is your part in the body. Be faithful in it. Be careful not to be found guilty of a hardened heart and a shut hand that will only give when there is an exchange that improves your ledger. The Lord hates this affection: hoping in the working of your hands. But the one who hopes in the Lord will know the Lord’s blessing and provision. Do not hope in your hand, artist, open your hand.

The word to the Israelites is this: “You shall give to [your poor brother] 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” (15:10).

Artists, in the currency that the Lord has given you, spend it on the needs of your brothers and sisters. Figure out how you can be a better spender, a better reliever, a better encourager, a better brother. You may have to prepare a better menu than what you are currently working from. Some foods, though they fill the belly, do nothing for the health of the body. Give your brother what will truly serve him, and give it abundantly, “sufficient for his need, whatever it may be” (15:8).

The blessing of the Lord is upon the one whose heart is towards the poor in this way. Do you want to be blessed in your work, in all that you undertake, artist? Then open wide your hand to the one who needs the grace that God has for them through you, through your artistic expression. And if your heart delights to do this, then be encouraged, because the Lord has begun to bless you already.

This is a command from the Word of God. This is not a good business plan that we should implement. This is not an activist position to run on. This is not an option. This is a command.

So artists, since there will always be the poor and needy among us, discern what riches God has portioned out to you and open your hand widely to your brother. “You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him” (15:14).

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project