Justice for the Vulnerable

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I’ve been struck by two things recently that seem to contradict each other.

The first is that I’ve heard a lot of people say “The economy is so hot right now!” 

Granted I don’t really know what they mean. But I believe them. Partly because they seem like the kinds of guys who would know. And partly because I see lots of buildings going up everywhere. So I guess, the economy is so hot right now. 

But the other thing I notice is that there seem to be more people holding signs asking for money than there were even a year ago.

Moms holding a baby in one hand and a cardboard sign asking for help in the other, standing next to the drive-thru at Chick-fil-a. That feels new. It feels wrong. And it feels like the opposite of the economy being so hot right now. 

And more than anything, it makes me feel powerless.

I want to help. I do help. I’m sure you do too.

And at the same time, I’ve heard the same story, so many times, always with more details than I can keep track of, of job offers in other cities and cars that need gas, that I’ve become a little hardened to just how hard it is to be poor and vulnerable in this city. 

People are in trouble. They are taken advantage of, stepped on, overlooked, and cast aside.

And I want to help, but I don’t know how.

Or more precisely, I don’t know how to help and still have my life stay exactly as it is. 

So if that’s something that you struggle with too, keep reading.

Continue reading “Justice for the Vulnerable”

Podcast Episode 9

Here is Megan and Dave’s ninth episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 22 minute long podcast episode, they talk about pride. But they also chat about:

  • All the things “pride” means (including lions)
  • Self-esteem songs from elementary school
  • How we compare ourselves to others

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Letting Go of Pride

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Every Sunday night at our church youth group, all of the kids and leaders eat a meal together, on real plates, around tables, the works. It’s a really cool thing that we do. Every week, Jonathan and Vanessa, our youth and children’s ministry directors (respectively), buy the supplies, and a parent cooks and serves. A few weeks ago, it was our family’s turn, and I got to make spaghetti with meat sauce. Easy peasy.

I got there a couple hours early, because I wanted to let the sauce cook as long as possible. So I browned up all the meat, and I added in all the sauce and got it to a nice simmer, and then I look over at the pasta Vanessa had bought.

It was angel hair…

Angel hair is fine pasta. But it’s not what you serve with meat sauce. So I went to Publix and bought real spaghetti. The good thick kind.

When I got back, I saw Vanessa, and told her not to worry, I had saved dinner. Turns out, she likes angel hair. She bought it on purpose. So I made both kinds of pasta, and put everything out for the kids to make their plates.

Big bowl of spaghetti. Big bowl of angel hair. Big bowl of sauce. Big bowl of salad. All laid out in that order.

So the kids came in, and saw the pastas laid out, and guess which kind they overwhelmingly went for?

The angel hair. Even my own kids! The traitors.

It was an exercise in letting go of pride.

There’s nothing quite like reality to show you when you’re wrong. And there’s nothing like a roomful of witnesses to help you admit it. Especially when those witnesses are eating heaping bowls full of angel hair pasta.

But under different circumstances, it’s harder to admit.

Continue reading “Letting Go of Pride”