Two years ago our church building received an unwelcome visitor: woodpeckers. They wouldn’t be unwelcome, except that they decided to no longer make holes in our trees, but in the building itself. So we had the building checked for bugs, did some prevention, filled the holes, and waited for next spring. Yep, more holes. Then other birds lived in our walls, having their babies. Which was certainly life-affirming, but not necessarily good for our building. After the babies left, we filled the holes again.
But this time, we applied a main principle of Anawim to the problem. When we see a “problem person” we try not to condemn them or judge them for their crimes. Rather, we try to meet their need so they can find a new path to live. So we covered the holes with bird houses, and put up some woodpecker food and some bird seed. Lo and behold! No more holes! Instead a whole variety of birds and congregations live together in harmony.
That’s the Anawim way.
“He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is the one who has mercy on the Anawim.”