Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fear & Loving in New Haven

I'm in Montreal, Canada at the moment. So I thought I'd write about the place I live- New Haven. (I'll write more about my experience here later.) Since the first of the year, I’ve had a phrase repeat over and over in my head, “Belief equals action.” What we DO is really what we BELIEVE. Living in New Haven, the gap between the belief and action is certainly evident. Connecticut has the highest per capita income in the US, yet spends more on social services per capita than most nations.

I have been quite convicted about my role in the city I call home. This past Fall I started volunteering at a soup kitchen, distributing free clothes in a needy neighborhood, as well as visiting my new friend John Kennedy (yes, that really is his name). He’s suffers from minor seizures, learning disabilities, and probably a good deal of loneliness. Now he’s my friend. Honestly, he keeps my feet on the ground. John knows how to be a friend to people.(that's John and I in the picture)

No, it’s not as sexy as working in Africa (which is equally as valid). But, I can’t get it out of my head that Jesus loves the homeless and friendless here in New Haven just the same. Sure, maybe they’ve made mistakes, but so have you and I. Certainly God views the people of the world as equally valuable, not necessarily validating every idea or action, but certainly valuing their lives. After all, we are the crown of His Creation.

So my “word” of the day is: “Do our actions equal our belief statements?” Just something to ponder. I understand taking action is a big deal. Action is a scary thing. Believing costs so much because it demands action to be of value. It seems we often wait for all the right pieces to come together before we move, but perhaps God calls us to risk with what we have, rather than what we don’t have. We can have confidence that God will meet us if we move on His behalf toward to the world around us. His perfect love casts out fear. So when we make space for God in our lives, we make space for the hurting and forgotten.

Much Love & Your Friend,


..Jenny said...

good thoughts and a good challenge dave!

S. J. R. Smith - Author said...

I am so blessed to hear about what you are doing in New Haven. My heart breaks for my home town, even when I am far away. For years, I prayed for people like you to walk in love as Christ loves us, right in the city of New Haven, where I knew then, and know now, that I cannot be. But you can be there, and you are fully. Thank you. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for your obedience to the call of God in your life. And again, thank you. I will continue to pray for you, and indeed the whole team there.