NOT what this is about!
We all want to be included and go to great lengths to become accepted. I am reading a great book, When Helping Hurts, which addresses how we might best help the poor. When you question the poor concerning, "What is poverty?", their answers include "shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation, and voicelessness." NOT what we would have thought. One of these, "social isolation", is an indication that all of our efforts at inclusion are not working. We all tend to stick to those who look like us, talk like us, think like us, and live like us. We stay in our little bubbles created primarily by economic circumstances.
We are working at including those who are different in our world in many places, but in most cases not in our social circles. One of the worst things in the world is to walk into a room and feel excluded from the group. We all desire to be "a part". The question becomes how do we step out of our circle? How do we expand our white bread world? How are we going to stop excluding socially those we are working so diligently to include in all other areas of life?
It is going to take me stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the initial step. Starting a conversation, asking questions, and seeking to know my fellow man has to begin with me. There are opportunities, there are ways to broaden our friend base, and we are the one who has to take the first step. When you read the feelings of those who are living in poverty, it is obvious how difficult it would be for them to take this first step. It is up to us to throw the ball onto the court and get the game going.
When you read of the life of Jesus, He certainly did not hang with only one socio~ economic group. We are called to model our lives after Him. That might mean inviting the fishermen to take a walk, the unclean woman to have lunch, or the tax collector to have coffee. We may need to stretch our worlds and seek out those who feel socially isolated and listen to their story--their voice.
I've not been blogging lately--oh but have I been thinking!
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,