Dirt, sunshine, patios, and the anticipation of spring (and let’s be real, summer too) make for the perfect Saturday afternoon.
After setting posts for bird feeders, mulching the bird habitat, and placing nearly 6 bird houses around the farm at Growing Colorado Kids today, I stayed past work-time and enjoyed the fine company of old friends.
You know what we did?
We kicked back, opened the fridge, and opened a few beers. A slew of creatures surrounded us; an African goose, chickens, two dogs, goats, a horse, and birds every which direction.
I decided – as I do most weekends – that this is a real great way to spend your time. Need some relaxation? Well, hiking, running, farming, and hanging out with my church groups fill my cup beautifully too, but there is something to be said about just being.
We quickly turned to topics of life, God, and people. One of my friends, on the topic of what it means to really help people quipped,
Social interaction breeds social change.
She didn’t stop there.
The details don’t matter so much, but in discussion of some local and not-so-local non-profits she shared some of her experiences of witnessing the unfortunate (and often systemic) circumstance of,
Blessing the blessed at the expense of the unblessed
At this point, I’m leaning over in anticipation and curiosity and a complete set of ‘amen sister!’ praises.
Well, with her first declaration above, I couldn’t agree more – and earnestly, that’s why I think cross-cultural interaction is so dang important. People are just people. Never forget that. That’s mostly a reminder for myself, by the way.
The second declaration, I found profound on levels of development and charity work – I have seen it first hand in inappropriate proportions – and I’ve seen on spiritual, professional, and humanity levels too.
It’s something I hope and purposefully hope to bear in mind as I continue to work alongside friends and fellow colleagues from other countries and walks of life in the future – never do I want to be elevated at the expense of some other person’s trial or tribulation. How unjust; how unfair.
I’m not exactly innocent in this, but I am mindful.
When it comes to never manipulating service, never taking advantage of any other person, or living up the full ideal of help, you know who did it best?
Jesus, Himself. Through and through. Everything He did – from acts of healing, from words spoken, to the greatest self-sacrificing act of all – His resurrection – He did it with a giving, full, and genuine heart.
He interacted with everyone. The high priests, the tax collectors, the traitors, God, His disciples and friends, and with His family. He was the best at presenting a new angle – a new way of seeing the world – because He could bring people together. He didn’t fear what people carry around with them. He could see the heart of humanity – being God – and human all at once.
He also never used His position, power, or authority to elevate His own wealth, position, or standing in the world. When he brought about miraculous circumstances, He would repeatedly encourage those around Him to keep quiet. Not because He was ashamed or not seeking to expand God’s grace and body, but because He understood the values of humility, fairness, and relationship.
My prayer is to go to church – to go to the cross – tomorrow with my heart turned towards those values. More than that, to shout, to sing, and to praise the Living God because of those very things. He has risen.
He has risen, indeed.
We talked about all this. In just a couple hours of sitting there – on a patio, in the middle of a farm out in rural Colorado. Cheers, we said. I would say so. Cheers. To afternoons, to friends, to weekends, to porch talk…to all of this.