Microscopic Philanthropy (1 John 4:19-21)

Love begins at home, or it never begins at all. In the fourth chapter of Bleak House, Charles Dickens narrates the arrival of Esther Summerson at the home of Mrs. Jellyby. Although her house is ramshackle and her children clothed in tattered garments, Mrs. Jellyby’s best time and efforts are spent organizing help for “the natives of Borrioboola-Gha, on the left bank of the Niger.” Mrs. Jellyby is a fine example of what Dickens calls “Telescopic Philanthropy,” charity for strangers far away combined with neglect of people near and dear. First John 4:19-21 offers a different model of charity, what … Continue reading Microscopic Philanthropy (1 John 4:19-21)