My son-in-law, Brandon Toombs, is responsible for this, my latest flight of folly. "You should consider creating a blog," he advised me recently. Easy for him to say. Computer and Internet whiz kid. As I laughed at him, he pressed me. We talked about people. The amazing, creative, hilarious, spiritual people who populate the world of inner city Dallas, Texas. This world has been my world for the past decade, and especially for the past six years since we moved to "the hood," as the locals call it. So, here I am, adding my dronings to the already overcrowded atmosphere of information. These days it feels as if everyone is shouting and struggling to be heard, to be noticed, to be seen. For most of my low-income, or in some cases no-income, friends, this doesn't appear to be so important. For ten years I have been witness to the humility, joy, courage, disappointment, resilience, creativity and deep spirituality of "the poor." It is the spirituality that gets me. The poor know the force back of the universe and their lives. Their brand of spirituality is surprising, unorthodox, uncluttered, practical, real and full of joy. When I made the decision to move toward these people, friends from my old church said encouraging and complimentary things like, "Oh, isn't it great! You are taking Jesus to the inner city." My experience here teaches me that such a statement is so far from the truth as to be laughable! After less than a month, it hit me: Jesus never left the city--the church, yes, but not Jesus. The follow up punch was even more enlightening: no one knows Jesus better than these people! My humbling realization: I bring very little, if anything, to this community, except a growing appreciation of its members and an eye for the surprises that continue to surround me. This will be a place where these surprises are shared and celebrated. My hope is to create an awakening among the well-off regarding the constant, unjust struggle of the not-so-well-off in this nation. The past ten years have taught me that such an awakening is a matter to be informed by the heart of my own faith and spirituality.
Announcement from Duke Memorial UMC
1 week ago