Posts Tagged ‘Homeless’

An Alternative Orthodoxy

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

An alternative orthodoxy fashions a deep connection between faith and life. It is about a faith far more concerned with a sincere living of the Christian experience than being “right” in the intellectual sense. Such an orientation rarely takes umbrage over different theological perspectives but instead finds the necessary disquiet in the suffering of life and seeks to draw alongside of that very suffering.

We are then to mirror Christ’s journey in our small human way, a journey He did not seek in order to “become greatest in heaven … or to become the least.”  What then was Christ’s goal?  ”All He wanted was for everyone to make something of themselves and be saved.”  (Heavenly Secrets 1820) The focus then was “other.”

That is why is it is so important to consistently refocus … refocus … refocus on service towards others.  It is interesting to note how a good theological brouhaha will quickly draw 100′s.  A call to serve will draw, well, something we can count on two hands.  It is not that ideas are unimportant. They are opening of the Way.  Words shapes worlds. But those words, as is often my experience, sit untethered to the very ground they are to give form to, masquerading as the work of Christianity.

Groups like Inter-faith Housing Alliance remind me of what actually it is to be a Christian.

The Singing Started at 5:45

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The singing started at 5:45.  It went through the set up for the meal.  It lasted as we served the guests – a group of homeless families and individuals in Pottstown. The singing ended as we broke for clean up.  I find myself singing, waiting for a woman in charge of salad to dole out a blob of Italian dressing onto the styrphome plate I held, a plate filed with lettuce and shaved carrots.  She sings too.   The plate from her, to me, to the guest.

That was last night.  Just one night.

The Adkins, Scott, Karl, Angela, Pat, Bryn, Tom. Others.  Other Pastors.  Other churches.  A mom, Penn State class of ’89. with two teen age sons.  She cried.  One person I did not net meet.

The instruction. Pastor Abu Bradley with his son and daughter in tow: “Lets pray.  These are guests.  Do not eat until they eat.  Clear their plates.  Ask them if they want seconds.  Children get served first.  Sit with guests.  Smile.  Free flu shots in the other room.  Who wants to watch the restrooms?  I want to make sure our guests even have a good experience there. Thank you.  Lets pray.”  A buffet line, serve-yourself, makes so much more sense but it doesn’t.  Life is not serve-yourself.

Heaven as the grand banquet to which all are invited.    Jordan, 7, loves the Steelers.  So do I.  Lynne worries about her son.  So do I.  ”We” – a bunch of “beautiful fools” – I love that line Ray.  There is grace in all things.