Friday, August 2, 2013

The American Dream--- busted up!

I have about one page left in the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. It has been a great book for me at this phase of life. It's all about the excess in our lives: clothes, food, possessions, media, waste, spending & stress. These are the areas that Jen addresses; she chronicles how she tackled these areas in light of the Gospel.

Jen is very aware of what is going on around her; she lives in Austin where she is a pastor's wife, and they are literally reaching out to the hurting, homeless, working-poor & refugees. I loved reading the stories about their family, including their three kids, interacting with these such people (beings created in God's image, may I remind you!).  Her children are so used to the situation that they are not afraid or timid; they interact with the people like they're neighbors!

I wish that I could have that for myself and my family! Isaiah comes to mind. You know where God tells us "...encourage the oppressed..." Ya, I'm pretty sure that what I do when I see a desparate-looking person is stare when they aren't looking and then awkwardly avoid all chances for eye-contact. OK, OK... I am getting better... A few weeks ago I did talk to a young girl holding a sign by the road, and Rush (my three year old) got to ask me questions about it. (Yay, God moments with kids!) But why? Why is this our normal response to sensing hopelessness in another? Sure, if they look nice and smell nice and are crying outside the grocery store, we'll probably ask them if they are alright. But if their appearance is undesirable, we shuffle around them, bolt for our car, and assume its their own fault. Why?! I do not want to do this anymore!!!

There, I said it. 

Lord, open my eyes to the needs of others. Give me opportunities to help the hurting and forgotten; to tell these lonely creatures of Your Love. 

One of my favorite excerpts from 7:
"It appears a good way to bring relief to the oppressed is to bring real relief to the oppressed. It's almost like Jesus meant what he said. When you're desparate, usually the best news you can receive is food, water, shelter... I guess that's why "Love people" is the second command next to "Love God." And since God's reputation is hopelessly linked to His followers' behavior, I suspect He wouldn't be stuck with His current rap if we spent our time loving others and stocking their cabinets."

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