eyes wide open

the second Jars of Clay inspired blog of the day….

So God bruise the heels we’ve dug in the ground
That we might move closer to love
Pull out the roots we’ve dug in so deep
Finish what You’ve started
Help us to believe

This song can take on multiple meanings I’m sure, but to me it means that we’ve GOT to find a way to get over our old fashioned/self centered/comfortable/blind views on the world.  We’ve got to eradicate comfort zones.  Basically, we’ve got to GET OVER OURSELVES.

The bible says “love your neighbor as yourself” but that doesn’t simply mean the nice person that lives right next to you.  Neighbor means everyone else in the world.  We are not called to stay within our communities and comfort zones.   Some take this to the FULL extent and travel across the world, but today, I want to challenge everyone to allow neighbor to mean the part of town that you often avoid because the people there are different.

“Different” takes on many meanings…

for some it means not going to the poor part of town, with housing projects, because its “not safe”…..

for others it means not going to the town where you’re the only person of your race ….

for some it even means going to the city and you’ve always been in the country….

for some it means something different..

but whatever it means, we have to be willing to step outside of our own little worlds (cue another song) and see the world as God sees it.  To Him, everyone is His child.  All of us.  and all of  “them”.  We are called to love everyone and to get over ourselves and stop separating ourselves.

We are not called to create and further an us-them mentality, yet as the church, we do it SO often.  It used to make my skin crawl with anger, but now it just makes me sad.  What makes me the saddest about it is how far it goes.  Yes adults make mistakes that cause negative circumstances in their lives (and family’s lives) BUT those kids in the situations that we allow ourselves to call “them” did NOTHING wrong.  Children have no play in how much their parents make or where they spend it.  Children have no play in their parents occupations.  Children have no play in their house choice.  Children have no choice in their skin color.  Yet, too often, I hear judgement made about children living in housing projects, children living in the bad parts of town, children whose parents do this or that, and i want to break down and cry.

We are called to love.  We are called to break down the barriers of judgement and hatred, yet we build them.  So I challenge you.  The next time you drive to “that” part of town or see “them,”  think about the children, and think about how your judgement of their family affects them.  Then, STOP, change your thinking, see those people the way God sees them,  see that neighborhood as simply another neighborhood without your opportunities, and do something about it.  We were ALL created equal in God’s eyes, we are all GOD’S children.  So we need to stop building walls and start tearing them down.  We need to get out of our comfort zones.  What does that look like for you today? What does it look like for you to get out of your own little world?

stimulus package

think about how different the world would be if every person (all 6 billion of them) got $136.50 to do whatever they wanted with it.

random amount of money right?
well, the current stimulus bill that is going through the lovely hierarchy of the american government right now sits at or around $819 billion.
$819 billion / 6 billion people comes out to roughly $136.50 per person, this includes men, women, children, inmates, disabled persons, persons on life support, etc.
i’m not saying i’m against the stimulus package because although this does put a HUGE burden on future generations, that burden was laid on us the past 8 years and unless we do something now to attempt to begin to fix these problems, we will crumble.
politics aside, think about this for a second.
think about how much of a difference this could make in Africa in the rural villages….
think about how much of a difference this could make in third world countries in southeast Asia….
think about how much of a difference this would make to all of the children who have never gotten a chance to go to school….
think about all of the pregnant women without proper prenatal care
think about all of the people without proper healthcare of any kind…
think about the people who cannot afford to feed their families…
$136.50 in american money translates into so much more across the world, especially in 3rd world countries.
in addition to the positive change this could bring across the world, think about the difference it could make right here in the United States.
yes i realize some people (sadly, many) would waste the money, but think about the families right here whose children cannot afford school supplies or clothes, the mothers who cannot afford prenatal care, the power bills that cannot be paid, the meals that cannot be bought, the houses in hurricane affected areas that cannot be built, etc. etc.
like i said, i think the stimulus package needs to be put into place, i think oversight needs to be had for the money, i think spending money on the things that have been screwed over in the past 8 years is the only way we can even begin to fix our economy is necessary, but just think for a second at how much change can be made across the world with a small amount of money evenly distributed.
with this in mind, i want us all to think about the current economy and how it affects everyone in this economy and across the globe and think about what we can do to reconcile the adversity and challenges our fellow humans face.
without community, we are nothing.
in dire times, without people helping out those around each other, we will not prevail.
selfishness is disgusting right now.
we need to all challenge ourselves and those around us to invest in other people’s lives and rebuild a network of community so that we can fix this economy crap together.
the government cannot simply spend money and fix things if the american people are not willing to get out of our selfish mindsets and help those around us that are struggling.
yes we may think that they got there by their own fault.
yes we may not agree with universal healthcare or tax hikes.
yes we may think that those people who are poor and lost their jobs should have went to college or prepared earlier
maybe that person should have gotten a better job
maybe they should have not had so many kids
maybe they should have saved money
blah blah blah get over yourself!
the fact of the matter is, the economy is in the drain. people are hurting. we need to all get out of our selfish bubbles and do what we can to reconcile the pain and suffering in the world.
suggestions:
go on a mission trip
do a service trip to hurricane destroyed areas
mentor a child through big brothers big sisters
sponsor a child in africa
let the old lady go in front of you in the grocery store
be informed about the political things that are on the table to try and help out
care about the people around you
don’t ask ‘how are you’ and not actually want an answer
be yourself
invest in those around you
be there when times get tough for your roommate or office mate
help out the homeless
donate to goodwill
or whatever you can do to help out those around you, not just in this economic time, but all the time
we all need to have a lifestyle attitude of servanthood and invest deeply in those around us if we want the world to be a better place.
to bring a bit of Jesus into this, its what we are called to do at the deepest level. if you disagree with me, tell me, but read Irresistible Revolution and then tell me you disagree.