Posted by: Dan | January 31, 2006

A Few Eclectic Thoughts…

1. I've been thinking about how Christians that go from the West to the two-thirds world are often struck by the generosity of the people who live there. Here are people who have only enough for each day and yet they are willing to share the only food they have, to part with whatever little items they might own, etc. It is a humbling experience for wealthy Christians who are inclined to horde and accumulate material goods, as well it should be. However, I've also been thinking about how the same type of hospitality exists among communities of homeless drug-users in the inner-city. These are people who have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Yet whenever they get enough for a point of heroin or a $5 crack rock they don't hesitate to share it with their friends. Literally the only thing they have, and the only thing that gives them any sense of joy or peace or ability to survive, and many of them don't even think twice about sharing. This too should humble us.

2. I was watching The Shawshank Redemption the other day while I was reading and this line jumped out at me — “The walls here… at first you hate them, and then you depend on them”. The inmates were talking about how a person gets institutionalised so that they depend on the structures of prison to such a degree that they cannot function outside of it. So that got me thinking about fellows that I knew from the shelter in Toronto that had been institutionalised, but then I started thinking about how the disciplines and “walls” of the Church should perhaps function in this way for Christians. Maybe we too should be institutionalised to the Church so that we cannot survive apart from her. Besides, I think we are only fooling ourselves when we think we can survive apart from her. So should we be institutionalised to the Church? What would that look like? My oh my, how my thinking has changed in the last few years.

3. Another line jumped out at me the other day, this time from an Ani DiFranco song. Ani sings this: “I may never change the entire fucking world, but I can be the million that you'll never make”. Now Ani's singing about not selling out to the man (and good for her for taking that stand) but I got thinking about how Christians would benefit if they adopted a similar attitude. We are continually trying to change “the entire fucking world” and so we try to maximise our efficiency and our profits. However, I wonder if following Jesus on the road of the cross means having an entirely different attitude, one that doesn't seek to “fix” everything by adopting a Western paradigm of efficiency. Maybe we are far more effective if we embrace powerlessness…

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