Marginalized Persona

(Jim Estok)

Hiding under a layer of an untenable persona.  Diverting prosperity in favour of promoting adversity and misfortune. Therefore, they’re portraying the need for assistance and reducing the need to put forth any signs of constructive effort, allowing the image of a loss of effort and removing expectations or any hint of seeking success. It can be a subtle cry for help or a scream that resonates in our hearts and argues with our mind.

I’m Guilty. Haven’t we all had those thoughts at one time or another when we encounter the poor and homeless? Are they really poor? Really homeless? Is it self-inflicted? Is it their own choice?

Could it be that simple? If we are honest with ourselves, and with God, is this, not the reaction we have when we see the person on the street asking for money because they have nothing to eat and nowhere to live?

Some peoples reactions are to cross the street-avoidance; some people avoid the areas where there is a high propensity of the poor (out of sight, out of mind); others justify not giving money because it will be used for drugs or alcohol; others hand out a bag of essential items (snacks, water, toiletries products, gift card, etc.); other people dismiss helping the poor simply because they feel it is the poor person’s choice based on their laziness.

I have deeply struggled with this subject. It angers me, saddens me, puts me at odds with myself. What is the right response?  I know ignoring it and doing nothing is not an option: because in doing so, it is causing me grief. A grief that causes me a great depth of sorrow.

Jesus said we will always have the poor (Mark 14:7). Jesus also said, “‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

“Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.” ― Shane Claiborne

For me, I know that doing nothing is not an option, I must resolve this unsettled tension. To no action is to dismiss the need, which I will not and can not do because my internal turmoil is compelling me to take action.


Jim Estok
Purveyor of Light through Life lived & shared and through photography