One of the more inspirational movie's I like to watch from time to time is the film Cinderella Man. The true story of boxer Jim Braddock and his family's struggle through the Great Depression. Braddock was an up and coming fighter for a couple of years just before the economic turmoil hit our country. By 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, Braddock was already considered a washed up boxer who couldn't get a fight. In New Jersey at that time, the only jobs available were at the docks, and the jobs were scarce. Someday only 6 or 7 out of a crowd of a hundred or so men were picked for that day's jobs.
The money he earned on those limited days on the dock went directly for food. Jim, his wife and 3 children, lived on bologna for many days, weeks, and months. And through all of this, his wife still continued to pray, and thank God for what they had, even when the utility bills mounted up so high to where both the electric and gas get shut off in the dead of winter. When they begin to pray one night Jim finally caves, "You know what? I'm all prayed out. I can't do this anymore."
Jim Braddock was a man of pride, he was reluctant to ask for any handouts nor go and file for public assistance. He ends up doing both. With his wife clinging to her faith in God as they struggle to get by, Jim is met by his long time trainer who brings him good news: he has a boxing match set up with one of the contenders. The bad news is, it's tomorrow! It's a last minute notice due to a boxer backing out and because it was already billed with a bunch of other fights for one night only at Madison Square Arena. But, for $250, Jim wasn't going to turn it down. No one in the country had Jim winning the fight, for he hasn't boxed in over a year, but he pulls off the upset. Soon, Jim finds himself back in the limelight. After winning the next couple of fights, Jim goes back to the public assistance office, and pays back all of the money that the government assisted him with (over $300)
Jim would go on and contend for the heavy weight championship of the world, the whole country pulling for him in the process. (please see movie for ending)
Of all of the history books, documentaries, and films I have viewed on the Great Depression, this is the only story that comes to mind of someone actually paying back the money the government assisted them with. Could you imagine if someone were to do that today?
Though our economy is not as drastic as it was back then, you do have to feel blessed if you can say,"I have a job, my health, a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in, and food to feed my family."
There are many less fortunate right now. Operation Blessing, a food pantry which serves the south suburbs of Chicago is seeing a record number of families in need of food. If your church does not have a food pantry and you or they may be interested in helping out for a worthy cause, checkout their website linked on my blog homepage for details.
He who shows kindness to a poor man gives to the Lord and He will pay him in return for his good act. (Proverbs 19:17)
In our country, and the world, we can't take anything for granted anymore. Except the provision that our great God provides:
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.