OK, so I haven't posted for a while. Things are a little different these days. But no excuses here, just a few random thoughts from a suburban, Christian refugee.
I was intrigued by an article in Newsweek about what the current oil crisis might mean to the suburbs. Are we on the verge of a social revolution of some sort? The implications are incredible.
Even more interesting was a link buried in one of the comments on the article. It referred to walkscore.com, a site that uses geocoding to determine an index of "walkability" for a neighborhood, the accessibility of various attractions and services within walking distance of any given address. My new address, third floor walk-up in a gentrifying neighborhood scores a 98 out of 100. My previous address (the nice house in the far burbs that I'm hoping to sell without losing too much money) scored a 5. Now that's a pretty drastic change in lifestyle.
The change is truly evident than what I got to do after work tonight. I rode my bike over to the local Episcopal parish (I could have walked but it was 10 blocks, right at the edge of my convenience range). Every Tuesday night there they host a community dinner and give out bags of food. They serve people who are homeless and people who are just poor with some basic dignity along with something to eat. They don't require anyone to sit through a sermon, they don't require anyone to show evidence that they are really in need, they don't stigmatize.
When they hand out bags of food they simply ask whether the recipient has a kitchen or not. That way a homeless person can get food that requires no preparation or special storage.
When a grungy-looking guy asked if he could have seconds on ice cream there was no reason why he couldn't. It seemed like it was the high point of his day, maybe his whole week.
For me it was a privilege to serve there. I felt closer to God than I have in any worship service in recent memory. I hope to make it there every week.
I've been reading one of my favorite bloggers write about being "missional" of late. I haven't felt able to put actions into that word nearly as much as I would like for too long. Maybe I've finally landed somewhere.