Pathways to Mercy: Clothe the naked

stock.xchng photo by remind

It seems so easy for us to “clothe the naked.” We just need to donate clothes to Salvation Army or any of the number of organizations that gathers used clothes and resells them to the public.

And yes, that will help. Some people just can’t afford to go to the store and buy clothes. But with cheaper clothes in places such as Wal-Mart, there sometimes is no need to go to Salvation Army for those that can’t afford it. Plus, have you gone to Salvation Army lately? There are a lot of dated clothes (I am looking at you, 1980s dresses with shoulder pads!)

So, how can we really help clothe the naked?

First, we need to start giving better clothes to help out the poor. These people do not want to be dressed in rags and don’t deserve to be. They deserve to look their best, as God has created them. I got this idea from Catholic Sistas, and it rang so true to me. I usually give many of my dated or destroyed clothes to charity, not thinking about the other person who needs the clothes.

And as much as I love Salvation Army and its mission, what about those who can’t even afford to buy used clothes? If there are organizations in your area that gives clothes away for free, I would suggest donating to those places, as well. I know during this time of year, there were many drives for winter coats and hats/gloves/scarves. What if you don’t have any of these specific items? Well, go out and buy them! As much as a homeless man will use a pair of used gloves, he will also use a pair of new gloves. He needs to keep warm, and that is all that matters.

And going back to Wal-Mart and cheap clothing: Why not start buying from responsible, fair-wage companies? And reusing and repairing what clothes you have? And also buying from Salvation Army instead? Our Jubilee of Mercy not only exists in our neighborhoods, but extends all over the world. By recognizing the horrors of slave labor and how many companies use sweat shops to make the cheap clothing we enjoy buying, that makes an impact on “clothing the naked” in other countries. These workers are treated like dirt, and that is unacceptable.

Clothing the naked goes beyond handing out gloves on a cold, winter day (though, that helps tremendously!) It also involves where we put our money.

Do you have any other ideas about how you can clothe the naked? 


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