Dignity precedes charity

Few of them, who wanted to help the marginalized in our city, had an interesting conversation with a few rag pickers. With the attitude of donors or benefactors, they had an interview with a group of rag pickers to understand their needs.
The boys did not speak up. One leader from a Christian institution said: “Do you need food?” There was no reply. Another from a local church said: “We can provide you with good clothes.” A female counsellor from a NGO said: “We can help you to study by admitting you in a school. You can become educated.” No reply at all. They were all perplexed.

At last, one boy said: “Sir, Stop calling us”hey “ or ”hi “, we have names. That will be the first thing you can do for us.” All were shocked and stunned by the statement of this fifteen-year-old boy. Though all were Christians, this shock treatment helped them to realize how important the name is for a person. Dignity precedes charity. Addressing a person by his or her name provides an identity for that person. The teenager boy was longing for an identity. When a person addresses him by name, it gives dignity to that person. When prisoners are just addressed by their number, they are demoralized and upset.

It is wonderful to know a living God, who addresses us by our name or gives a new name. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) Lord Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd of our souls. “The sheep hears his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3) God has graciously bestowed us with identity and dignity by calling us by name.

Dead Lazarus, when Lord called him by His name. Yes, when the Lord calls us by our name, we get new life, new direction, new purpose and a new hope.

Has the good Lord called me out by my name?