You need to get involved with us and become a bleeding heart liberal, Jesus-style.
Whenever I hear this term, I don’t know what to do with it. Is it good, is it bad? I’ll admit, I’ve never been called a “bleeding heart liberal,” and I think because it’s derogatory toward people who champion social justice. I was reading the Bible and meditating, and I came across a passage that made me think, “bleeding heart liberal.”
What Is It?
I looked up the phrase on the Internet phrase finder (British):
“A bleeding heart liberal is one who thinks tax dollars should be used to keep people from starving to death, whose ‘heart bleeds’ at the suffering of those who are unable to care for themselves or whose daddies are improvident or absent.”
Psalm 72 is itself a bleeding heart meditation and prayer to God for the government–the king and his son–to help the disadvantaged.
- For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
- the afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
- He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
- And the lives of the needy he will save.
- He will rescue their life from oppression and violence’
- And their blood will be precious in his sight; (Psalm 72:12-14)
God is a Bleeding Heart Liberal
I keep running across passages in the Old and New Testament concerning social justice, particularly regarding the poor. If you didn’t know already, God is a bleeding heart liberal. Need proof? Go no further than the Gospel. You and I are deep in sin debt, and without merit to pay it off, but God in His bleeding heart mercy, gave of His own–His Son Jesus–that His earnings could be freely transferred to our account. Forgiveness. Righteousness. Eternal Life.
I served in Washington, DC, on a congressional staff and have kept up with philosophical debate, so I understand the points of contention lie in “how” care for the poor is administered and from “whom” it should come. Today in the U.S. the “how” and “who” is a philosophical debate. The “what” is theological–and God is clear: Care for the poor.
We ourselves can be obedient to serve the poor as Jesus did, and bring our kids along to teach them too. Your kids’ memories of serving alongside their parents are priceless permanent impressions that will shape the way the see the world, how they appreciate what they have, and how they value others. Best, serving the disadvantage makes the Gospel more concrete, experiential, and relevant for those who have not yet embraced Jesus.