Rwanda Revisited: Awakening Empathy -
When I studied abroad in Rwanda in July, friends and family expressed concern for my safety. To them, Rwanda conjured images of genocide that tore through this small African country in 1994.
Now, after learning about what happened during the genocide, their concern seems terribly ironic. Because if anything like the genocide were to happen again, my American passport would have gotten me a seat on the next plane home. I never would have been in any danger.
But I can’t say the same for the people I met in Rwanda: fellow students I took classes with, pastors I interviewed, street children I gave food to, and the leaders and scholars who lectured for our class. People who were like me, sharing my passion for ministry or my hope to make a difference, but without the American passport.
Read the rest at UrbanFaith.com.
Out of all the ugly things I have ever admitted out loud, the acknowledgment of being apathetic to people and things around me has been the hardest, as if in my admission, I confess to not having a soul. Who is cold enough to say they just don’t care? Who is honest enough to admit something so blatantly at odds with the gospel? Like other believers who allow the gospel to become largely self-serving, I was most concerned with things that directly benefited me and focused on those aspects, things like the ability of God to help me through tough times and the promises of His faithful love. When religion was primary, those things served me well. It never asked me to go beyond and reach further. — Lisa Whittle, “Breaking the Religion Ritual” (Relevant)
There is no denying that the artist is someone who is full of questions, who cries them out in great angst, who discovers rainbow answers in the darkness and then rushes to canvas or paper. An artist is someone who cannot rest, who can never rest as long as there is one suffering creature in this world. Along with Plato’s divine madness there is also divine discontent, a longing to find the melody in the discords of chaos, the rhyme in the cacophony, the surprised smile in time of stress or strain. … Perhaps the artist longs to sleep well every night, to eat anything without indigestion, to feel no moral qualms, to turn off the television news and make a bologna sandwich after seeing the devastation and death caused by famine and drought and earthquake and flood. But the artist cannot manage this normalcy. Vision keeps breaking through and must find means of expression. — Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? — James 2:2-5
Love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people. — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (via knownrenowned)
The sure sign of God’s hidden presence in this darkness is the thirst for God, the craving for at least a ray of His light. No one can long for God unless God is present in his/her heart. —
Father Neuner in a letter to Mother Teresa
Leadership Journal, “A History of Darkness”
10 Photos: On the ground in the Horn of Africa
Voice of the Hispanic Christian Vote -
My interview with the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference went online at UrbanFaith today.
“My commitment is to engage the Hispanic community in prophetic action, swaying them from apathy,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not committed to the donkey or the elephant. I’m committed to the agenda of the Lamb.”
Read the Q&A at UrbanFaith.com.