what we talk about when we talk about the poor
you know the cliché . . . about
it raining men when it rains it pours? welcome to my writing world.
as i have almost no words for my actual world (and there are good and needed boundaries to be had in this place anyways; not to mention my melancholy that makes it hard to process or drive my car or leave the apartment after dark). but i have started writing again about other things, ideas less tied to my situation and quite a bit broader. blame the community development conference i caught a peek of, or the weekend spent learning from young and old souls within the new friars movement; blame the beautiful trees here in the midwest, the space to read a few paragraphs a night that i could eat off of for years. blame these things for the amount of guest blogs i have this week (besides yesterday at A Deeper Church and today, there is also tomorrow in another space. I know. I am sick of me too).
but i am over at my dear friend j.r. goudeau's space today (all the cool kids hang out with refugees and go by their initials in internet-land). for many bloggers, october is the month they choose to write for 31 straight days (yikes. i can't even imagine). so you can understand why i love j.r. because this girl wanted to write about poverty for the month. fun times!
i knew immediately that i wanted to contribute something along the lines of our word usage when talking about the poor. i have been greatly influenced by John Hayes (both in conversation and by his book Submerge) and the works of Shane Claiborne and Ron Sider. all three of these gentlemen broadened my perspectives on poverty, both by calling me out on my wealth and the sin of ignoring the poor, and also the concept of the poor being blessed and being the heralds of the new kingdom. this is life-changing stuff, if i am willing to let it sink into my bones.
so head on over and read it, and tell me what you think. what words do you think we should use when talking about the poor? or is this really the sidebar in a longer conversation about living in community with those who are in need?
Side note: 2 amazing books are currently on sale for the kindle. both are amazing, worthwhile reads, so snatch them up! Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James is only $1.99, and When Helping Hurts (a foundational book on looking at issues of poverty and how the church has done harm in the past) is only $2.99. [it should be hardly be noted that i am not paid to endorse these books, i just bought them myself and am trying to share the wealth]