Just A Nobody

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This blog was started to share the journey of what God has called me to do, serve our friends whithout homes. A long the way it has also become part of my journey as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tokenism…a few practical suggestions

A recent post by Ken that I thought was worth reposting. You can find Ken at:http://kenloyd.net/

Tokenism…a few practical suggestions
We’re good people. We do actually care.

If there was a Satan, this is what I think he’d do to good, caring people: he would blind us to the very real horrors going on all around us. How? He’d encourage us to make a token gesture, let the pee sit in the bowl, do something nice at Christmas for the “poor”, be slightly less oppressive to women than the next person, Facebook our outrage at child prostitution. Something like that. He’d then give us a squirt of endorphins to warm us all over and whisper quietly in our ear, “Good job!, Sally (Bill, Fred, Sharon).”

There actually is a Satan, I believe, and that’s exactly what he does to good, caring people. Especially good, caring American people. Most especially good, caring Christian American people. How else can we explain little or no visible action coming from our nation and churches in an age when the enormity of human suffering is splattered all over the news on a daily basis?

Here are some mental errors most of us, I think, make in the thought-to-emotion-to-action transition:

American? We have been taught to believe that those who have less, are less. In the church world, prosperity equals blessing for a good life lived.
Young American? In your, “I’m-here-what’s-going-on-there?-texting-four-people-while-having-coffee-with-a-fifth-Google-everything-wired-to-the-hilt world, it’s easy to care about everything so much that actually doing anything gets lost in the melee.
Emergent Christian? Lots of palaver, not much do. Trap.
Theological bent? See above.
We easily confuse reading and knowing with doing. They are not remotely the same. To bend James’ words a bit, “Reading without doing is dead.” (sorry, Jimmie)
Have enough money? Live indoors? Have a Job? Vehicle? Stuff? It’s called insulation! We (especially Christians) need to get out more. Uninsulated.
We can easily let the talking heads (teachers, professors, preachers, newspeople, etc.) think and do on our behalf.
Low self esteem a la: “I’m too small (shy, uneducated, old, young, unhip, your limit here _________) to make a difference.”
With so many kinds of injustice in the world, which one to choose?
Catch the drift?
Good, caring people paralyzed by our own brains.

Some suggestions to help us get off the dime (to coin an old phrase):

Read/study/ask questions of actual doers. Learn about injustice of all kinds.
Set a time limit for your study phase. Remember: Reading is not doing. Knowing is not doing. Only doing is doing.
Ask, “What’s my heart (God?) telling me?” What moved you most? What excited most you? What grieved you most?
Get involved with that. If something moves you to action, you may well stick. If you’re just going along with someone else, it’s difficult to pay attention for long.
What are you good at? Do that for a caring/justice cause.
What do you enjoy doing? Do that for a caring/justice cause.
Consider that small might just be the new big. (less insulation)
Consider that local might just be the new mission field. (less insulation)
Get in touch with your own brokenness. It will connect you with the rest of humanity. (less insulation)
You want endorphins? Then get started!


1 comment:

Lou said...

Thanks for posting this. I especially like the "insulation". How true!

We can make a difference, but most often it is one person at a time.