The remnant of the people left in the city, the defectors who had gone over to the king of Babylon, and what remained of the craftsmen were taken into exile by Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards. But some of the poorest elements of the population – some of the poorest in the land – were left by Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, to be vine-dressers and field hands.
I still remember the images of people on rooftops in the midst of a rising flood. It was difficult to believe that the images were from a place in the United States, it was even harder realizing that the images were coming from my own state.
Earlier that day I had ministered to those that had fled the storm. I had heard their stories, prayed with them, cried with them, and attempted to be the presence of Good News. Most of those that I spoke to had left nice houses, second cars, and many had left boats (kind of ironic). These were people who had much to loose but had the financial resources to pick up and leave.
The ones on the rooftops were the ones left behind. Most of them did not have the resources to leave, no cars, no one to call who could host them, little access to information, no money for a ride anywhere.
As I read the passage today I realize how often the poor are left behind. They are easily forgotten, invisible, and voiceless.
Time and time again God’s people are called to be the voice of those who could so easily be left behind. We are called to pay attention, to provide for their needs, to be advocates for the structures of society that keep many in a cycle of poverty and injustice.
May we become prophets in our communities who call God’s people to be about the liberating work of Christ to those that need it most. We might leave the poor behind but God never does!