Friday, April 20, 2007

"Do I know the poor"

I wrote the following for our "Church" newsletter.....pray for me to follow through....

At the 30 hour famine in February we got to hear Shane Claiborne speak and share his life experiences living as what he describes as an “ordinary radical”. (I highly recommend his book, The Irresistible Revolution, but be prepared to squirm as you read it!) One of the quotes in the book that made me squirm was, “the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.”


Yeah, I’ve tried to rationalize that statement with really great thoughts like – “I know the poor in spirit” or “I know those that are poor in relationships” or “I know those that are poor in joy” as well as REALLY great thoughts like – “But I’m very active serving in the life of my church”…..but ultimately these feel like excuses to me. Or at least attempts by me to distract myself from what God is really saying to me. (And since I’m wrestling with God it’s obvious that I’m not really distracted – I just don’t want to have this conversation!)

As I ponder this ultimately I think I’m afraid.

Afraid of how “knowing the poor” may change my heart.

…..may change my priorities.

…..may change my life.

…..may transform my relationship with God.

Well – I don’t know if I am brave enough to have this conversation by myself. I at least need someone to walk along with me and help me process my thoughts. (But my prayer is that I can go beyond “thinking” and enter into “living”.) So here is an invitation….

Would you like to explore ways that we can truly get to “know the poor” better? I don’t care what age you are, what stage of life you are in, or any of that. We are the church – and we need each other. Specifically, I need your help in moving from caring….to knowing. I don’t know what that will look like. So come – with no expectations…no plan of action…entering into the unknown.

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