We fear what we don’t know

It is so easy to pick on immigrants from a majority white congressional district. It is so easy to blame “the other” when you’ve never sat down with someone “in opposition” to you and had an actual conversation. These are the challenges… and too often we are not up to these challenges. (And social media makes it SO much easier to stay in opposition without getting to know someone else of a different status or opinion.) What we don’t know, or WHO we don’t know, we fear. Then, we create hyped up scenarios to then generate hyped up solutions.

Continue reading “We fear what we don’t know”

Busyness blinds us

“Our busyness can blind us to other people or at least make us feel less guilty for turning the other way and walking past someone who needs help. When we create margin, we give ourselves the opportunity to notice and truly see people. The way we spend the margin we have affects the people being pushed to the margins themselves.” — Terence Lester, I See You

Sometimes, we want to be blind.

Book Review: I See You by Terence Lester

“Privilege has a way of blinding us to the realities faced by those society has made invisible, and in true incarnational fashion, Terence takes us with him on a journey to uncover the true experiences of our most vulnerable neighbors.” (Chad Wright-Pittman)

Continue reading “Book Review: I See You by Terence Lester”

Confronting our misconceptions about “the poor”

We may have heard these generalizations about the poor, or held them ourselves. (Or, still hold them.)

— They are lazy and uneducated.
— They chose to be poor. They could pick themselves up by their bootstraps and get out of it if they really wanted.
— The poor are the government’s responsibility.
— It’s their own fault they are poor.

Continue reading “Confronting our misconceptions about “the poor””

Dealing with issues of poverty and broken systems

A couple of weeks ago the president raised the issue of immigration and where immigrants should come from in a meeting with Congressional leaders. What was just plain silly was the talk about his use of a particular word. It missed an entire conversation that needed to happen… but what am I thinking? We’re Americans! We’re good at avoiding tough conversations.  Continue reading “Dealing with issues of poverty and broken systems”

The pursuit of power and the powerless

Now people were bringing little children to him for him to touch, but the disciples scolded those who brought them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16, NET Bible) Continue reading “The pursuit of power and the powerless”

The poverty of soul

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9)

We spend a lot of time thanking the Lord for his gracious mercy. We are thankful he DID become poor for us.

And we spend so little time considering how we might actually imitate Christ in this way. Too often we are the Levite or the priest in the story of the Good Samaritan. We are thankful for God giving us so much grace… but then miss the opportunity to extend grace to those in need.

We need to imitate Christ rather than just give thanks WE have been lifted out of the pit. How do we make ourselves poor for the sake of others? How do we give out for the sake of others… regardless of their status… because Christ came to us and poured in his mercy regardless of OUR status. 

We need THIS spirit working in our hearts: to give out in mercy. To live in mercy. To look to others with hearts that bless instead of curse. This is the way of our Master.