RT @RickWarren: Half the world lives on less than $2 a day. One billion people live on less than $1 a day! Are you OK with that? // How much do you live on per day @RickWarren? –@amysondova, via Twitter
This is how I started a war with Rick Warren on Twitter. Shots were only fired in one direction. Directly at Rick Warren and his Hawaiian shirt.
It started like this. I was on Twitter trying to win a giveaway and someone reTweeted this message from Rick Warren: “Half the world lives on less than $2 a day. One billion people live on less than $1 a day! Are you OK with that?” Rick Warren—who makes millions in book sales, has a ginormous congregation with several satellite campuses, and who despite giving a lot of money to charity still makes more money than my roommate and I put together—asks me if I am OK with that.
I’m really not OK with that.
I’m especially not OK with Rick Warren pointing this out to me. I feel bad for half the world that lives on less than two dollars a day and the other billion that live on less than one dollar a day, but I don’t have any money left to give them. I always want to sign up for a Compassion child at concerts (when I go because I have a free press pass), always want to give to those Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmas, always want to donate to the ASPCA when those sad puppies light up my television screen.
I just can’t afford it.
Sometimes I tell a friend or family member, “I should stop wasting my money and give it to the poor.” To which I get the response, “Amy, you are the poor.” Oh, good point. (I wish I could elaborate on this—wait for the book.)
Unless I win a gift card or obtain a review copy, I can’t even afford a Rick Warren book. Rick Warren, are you OK with that?
To be fair, I really don’t have anything against Rick Warren. He seems like a nice guy. I am just sick of the “thought” statements well-known mega-pastors and other Christian celebrities throw out to “challenge” the flock.
Do they have any clue what it’s like to be poor in America? To eat peas and noodles for dinner? To stop answering the phone because it’s just the creditors again? To go through the humiliation of bankruptcy? To wonder how the heating bill will get paid? To shop at the thrift store out of necessity, not just for fun?
While the poorest of poor probably don’t grace most churches in the United States, believe me, there are those struggling in her midst. There are elderly folks who can’t afford their medications and young mothers who can’t buy milk and out-of-work college graduates who are grateful for a job at Wal-Mart (don’t ask how they are ever going to pay back those college loans!) There isn’t an easy solution to these problems, yet desperate prayer keeps people up at night. Stomachs gnawing, acid builds in the throat, and sleep never comes.
So I asked Rick Warren how much he spends a day—right out in the open, right there on Twitter. I don’t expect a response from him or anyone else. I decided to check out Rick Warren’s history of tweets, which were mostly comprised of happy encouragements for the masses with a challenge here and there. Strangely enough, on Feb. 27 one of Warren’s tweets read, “You can’t understand the pain of others until you’ve suffered deeply yourself.”
Now most of us live on more than $1-2 a day, but that certainly doesn’t mean that we’re wealthy or even have an extra dollar to spare. It also means we probably understand the struggles of the have-nots much more than the haves. And we also acknowledge that we’re lucky to live in the United States, have a home, and all the rest of the stuff we’re told to be grateful for. Of course, we praise God for all that!
But we certainly don’t need Rick Warren asking us if we’re OK with it.