Engaging Meditation: Developing Community Among the Poor

Started by Andy Wood, Oct 10, 2017, 10:03 AM

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Community is weird.  Sometimes the harder we try to create it, the farther we get from it.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer said "the person who loves community destroys community... but the person who loves people creates community."  It seems the more we strive for a dreamy vision of community, the more we miss each other.  However, as we love each other, and as we love God together, we find community.  

I have often found this with people who are marginalized.  I used to set out to "love on the poor".  A good heart, but just slightly off.  I discovered that "the poor" didn't want to be "loved on".  Rather, they wanted to be loved, as a human being with a name, a history and a future.  They wanted to be known in the moment, not as a problematic segment of society.  I found that as I made genuine friends, it made all the difference.  Because it's really about loving actual people, not loving populations of people.  It's the difference between theory and practice. 

The Challenge:

Ask God to show you someone in your community who is markedly different from you.  What might you do to express that love?  Perhaps there is a particular prayer you could offer on their behalf.

"The discovery of love marks the birth of community."  Bonhoeffer


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