When God’s People Get Tired of “the Poor”

The woman was tired. I get that. I’ve been that tired.

I arrived at the church office incognito. Not really, but I introduced myself in my role as a facilitator of my day job with a community agency, not as a fellow Christian. The church has programs to help the poor in their area, and I had one of them with me (one of the poor, I mean), waiting on the sidewalk, too nervous to come into the office herself “lest lightning strike.”

Smiling, I stated the reason for our visit was to introduce the woman to the needs ministry at the church and to inquire about the hours they met with new people. The woman behind the counter frowned and sighed. “Frankly, we’re tired of you agency people thinking the church is the answer for every poor person within a twenty-mile radius. Don’t you have any other answers for her?” Continue Reading →

When Christians Disagree

coffee-beans-1082116_640It’s likely that you and I don’t agree on everything.

Theoretically, we know that. Theoretically, we still love one another, you know, because we’re one family under God. Theoretically, we, in the church, form a beautiful tapestry, our differences of opinion devising the colors and textures that give depth to the work of the kingdom. Theoretically, we’re generous, inclusive, and kind even when we disagree.

Face-to-face, though, or in conversation, when we stumble onto one of these IED’s (isolated entities of disagreement), they detonate. We reel from the flash, dodging shrapnel as we try to recover a sense of equilibrium and find solid footing on which to continue our love relationship. It ain’t easy.

It’s ain’t easy because these places where we disagree aren’t just theories. They are the fabric that make the decisions that create our daily lives. They aren’t just theological places of contention between Christians – they determine whom we’ll choose to marry – or not, how we’ll use our gifts, how we’ll treat the most vulnerable among us, and where we will worship. Continue Reading →