Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pay it Forward 2.0

I’ve just finished reading a newsletter from a local Social Service Agency’s Exec. Director. His program is doubtless the most successful one in our city. I admire, respect, always enjoy and am sometimes made uncomfortable by what Jimmy has to say. About as effective as one can become, he not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Having chosen to live and raise his family among the disenfranchised and marginalized, his actions are a powerful testament to his faith in practice.

In an earlier post I had posed the question “Have we become so paranoid that we no longer feel safe doing our Christian duty to our fellow man? Or, is it not paranoia, but truly a part of the risk of operating from within a Christian ethic?”

Jimmy's message said that answers lie: “in personal touch and faith. God can’t do anything if we don’t stop and touch.” He goes on to say that involves risk; and while those we minister to might be mentally ill, drug addicts, ex-offenders or diseased, “that is exactly the stuff of faith. It is in risking with the ‘least of these’ that we often meet and trust God. Personal touching is the way of the Kingdom.
… the healing works of listening, touching, and looking into their eyes are all redemptive. Relationships are God’s way. With enough faith, we can stretch beyond … comfort zones to offer genuine compassion. … Offering dignity is more important than what they ask for.”

So I guess two months later my question has been answered. We are called to go beyond our zone of comfort and risk ourselves for the sake of others, “even to the least of these.”


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