Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Radical Generosity

The homeless are some of the most generous people I have ever met.

At Network (the coffee shop for the chronically homeless and those suffering homelessness) there’s a bar or counter where folks can serve themselves tea, “juice” (Kool-Aid), water or coffee. It’s where we serve PB&J sandwiches every Tuesday. It's where I spend much of my shift behind this counter, washing dishes, brewing coffee, helping manage the shower list and handout clean towels and whatever else folks need. It’s also where I have the gift of seeing a little more of Jesus every Tuesday I serve there. 

A few weeks ago I watched a guy come in with a bag of canned food. He opened all the cans and shared with others in the room. He could have easily saved that soup for tomorrow, or even later that day when he was hungry again. But he wasn’t concerned about that. There were hungry people there, now, why save it for himself for later?

I watch people do this again and again. If they have two sandwiches, they give one away. Three granola bars, two go up on the counter (the “free-to-take” spot). Rather than worrying about themselves tomorrow, they concern themselves with the needs of everyone today.

It reminds me a little of the widow in the Bible, the woman so poor all she had was two coins, worth a fraction of a penny (Mark 12 and Luke 21). But she had what she needed for today, and there were others poorer than she (if you can even fathom that), and so she gave away what she could have used tomorrow to care for those in need today.

Radical generosity.

Someone told me that the poor do not have the luxury, the privilege, of worrying about tomorrow, or of planning for the future. I never thought of my worrying and planning for the future, even just for tomorrow, as a luxury. I know where I will sleep each night, I know that I will be fed tomorrow, and so I can worry and plan for the future because my present is taken care of.

Yet as I ponder this, I realize I am not the privileged one. The poor are the privileged, the blessed, the lucky. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see God” (Mathew 5, Luke 6). I like the New Living Translation's verbage, "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." For isn't the Kingdom of Heaven about being with God. And how can we be with God if we do not realize our need for Him? And how can we realize our need for Him if we do not realize that we are poor? 

Clearly the Bible states that we are not to worry about tomorrow, for He shall worry about it for us (Matthew 6). 

I worry about tomorrow, because I have the privilege to, while the poor cannot plan for the future or even worry about their tomorrow because they have to be concerned with surviving today.

Blessed are the poor…for they see God.

My friends get to depend on God in a way I do not. My friends get to experience God in a way I have not. My friends get to be God to one another in a way I am not.

And so I find myself, week after week of hanging out with Denver’s homeless, understanding why Jesus speaks so much of the poor. I believe He is especially fond of all of us, but those who are poor (be that physically or those who have come to understand and embrace that they are poor in spirit) are especially fond of God.

I am inspired by the radical generosity of my homeless friends, and I long to deepen in my dependence on God until I have given up my privilege to worry and plan and simply depend on the grace He has given me for that day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Untitled :: Poetry

Lips press 
'Gainst forehead 
Of a broken child
Shame rolls in tears
Streaks down a face
Marred with hurt
And hidden pain
Grace's tears
Fall faster
To wash pain
Love kisses forehead
Of a beloved child
Human with human
God with us
And the Spirit dances
While the
Son of Man kisses
A child of God

Friday, September 4, 2015

#‎KiyiyaVuranInsanlik‬ #SyrianRefugees

Humanity washed asore
My heart bled out,
eyes awash in its blood
But my tears
don't help them
didnt help him

What will it take
for the whole world to hear?

Little kids are dying
Onto shores their bodies washing
Humanity washed ashore
My eyes bleeding
aren't doing much anymore

How long
until the whole world heals?