Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Simple Way

One of my favorite authors, Shane Claiborne, of The Irresistible Revolution needs your help. He's been running an urban commune of sorts in Kensington in Philadelphia. It's a super poor neighborhood where he serves his neighbors by running after school programs and summer arts camps for kids. Their community Center burned down last night, all of their possessions have been lost and nearly 100 people have been left homeless. Read more about it and how you can help here.

And that’s when things get messy. When people begin moving beyond charity and toward justice and solidarity with the poor and oppressed, as Jesus did, they get in trouble. Once we are actually friends with the folks in struggle, we start to ask why people are poor, which is never as popular as giving to charity. One of my friends has a shirt marked with the words of late Catholic bishop Dom Helder Camara: “When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist.” Charity wins awards and applause but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for living out of love that disrupts the social order that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them.

-Shane Claiborne

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