This week two things have crossed my path, sharpened my conscience...raised my urgency. They are Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, (I read it today on this MLK holiday), and my encounter with the Circles Initiative to eradicate poverty. (Both are amazing stuff. If you've never explored please take a minute. They're far more important than the rest of what I have to say!) This co-incidence has quickened my pace and strengthened my resolve to speak, work and advocate for the poor and powerless of our society.
My first mission is awareness: both my own and yours. Yours through my sharing so that you and others have the opportunity to become aware of needs and injustices. For instance, do you realize how hard it is to care for a family from a place of poverty? I can only begin to imagine. These two links give quick, informative snapshots: 1) The Wage Gap; 2) Nickle and Dimed. There is so much more to this conversation, but you (dear and valued blog reader) have to want that for yourself, so I'll leave it for you to ask questions, post challenges, and share insights.
My second mission, and by far, the hardest, is self-reflection, as to what needs to change in me. What are the lifestyle changes that I need to make,changes that will make a difference? Is it no longer shopping at Walmart? Is it moving into the poorer part of the community? I am still exploring and learning. I know it will be a bumpy and imperfect journey because the issues are complex at times (though morally straight-forward) and because I can be slow, blind and stubborn sometimes (but I hope not all together). I am confident that Jesus, who offers me love, grace and a way of life, will guide, redirect, challenge and help me.
- Working to establish a Circles Initiative right here in Lebanon County that can partner with the Caring Cupboard, the Phoenix Center, and many other services, ministries and resources of the area;
- Inviting, modeling, cajoling, badgering, teaching, pestering, organizing, enlisting, dreaming, presenting, assisting, companioning, praying, serving, working and persisting until we all, you and me together, are Living Love ... everyone has what they need. I believe that Living Love it is possible that all who experience that Love, find hope, joy, power and freedom in that Love. And in receiving that gift, that Love then flows through them and the world is changed. It becomes contagious, generative, exponential...world-changing.
That's my mission, eradicate poverty, live love and change the world. Wanna help? Tell me how!