Blame

November tends to be a time of introspection for me.  I started my current job in November of 1994. This week I start my 17th year at DOOR. One of the people who sparked my interest in coming to DOOR was John Perkins.  I doubt he knows who I am, but I heard him speak at a CCDA event in Denver.  He spoke passionately of “Three R’s” for successful urban ministry – Relocation, Reconciliation and Redistribution.  For John, when the people of God embodied and lived these values the poor and the oppressed would be set free.

I heard this sermon at a very dark time in my life.  I had recently resigned from a pastoral position.  My prayer to God at that time was rather simple; “get real or get out.”  I was tired of pretending that my faith meant something to me.

Hearing about the “Three R’s” was the breath of fresh air I needed.  I had never really thought that where I lived was also a moral issue.  Hearing that reconciliation was more than a God and me concern was transformative.  Reconciliation also included my relationship with humanity, in all its forms.  I grew up believing in the tithe, but I had never really considered that how and where I spent the rest of the money was also an important concern.

This sermon started our family on what has become a 16-year journey.  Sixteen years ago, my faith was mostly a Sunday morning event; today my faith is a 24 hour, 7 day a week celebration.  As a family, we have relocated, have struggled with issues of reconciliation and think about where we spend our money.

I blame you John Perkins for speaking from your heart and sending our family on a crazy, wild, exciting, enriching and life-giving journey.