A thoughtful friend sent me the following quote recently. As you read it, don't rush. Give it a chance to soak into your soul:
“Taking God’s assignment seriously means that I must learn to look at the world upside down, as Jesus did. Instead of seeking out people who stroke my ego, I find those whose egos need stroking; instead of important people with resources who can do me favors, I find people with few resources; instead of the strong, I look for the weak; instead of the healthy, the sick. Is not this how God reconciles the world to himself?...God’s gifts are best used in the visible world when we give them away in serving those who have less.” (Philip Yancey, Rumors of Another World, page 202)
I like Yancey's words and his obvious wisdom. Of course, what he says cuts against almost every impulse we have, doesn't it? It takes conscious effort and determined decisions to move down instead of up.
I catch myself wishing Yancey had gone further in his illustration.
He could have added something like this:
"Looking at the world upside down in a democratic society means my power, my privilege, my self-interest and my vote will be redirected toward an agenda serving the good of the whole, not just that which benefits me.
"Rather than jealously guarding my wealth, I will consider political action that may cost me while it creates opportunity for others.
"Instead of rushing to the head of the line, pushing others aside because of my skills, organizational ability and raw political strength, I will take a minority position, choosing to stand with and among the powerless, the poor and the excluded. And, I will choose to stand there for as long as it takes to affect real, lasting change.
"Rather than buying into a religious system that insures everyone involved will look, think and respond in ways that make me feel comfortable or personally 'at home,' I will decide to move in a larger, richer world of difference, variety and inclusion--a world where others will be given the opportunity to include or exclude me on their own terms and not only on mine.
"I will surrender power, position and potential to embrace the struggle of the others, those who would be considered strangers to my 'normal' world."
This, it seems to me, is consistent with the upside down mindset of the strange and radical man, Jesus.
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