Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister

Talk To People

with one comment

Almost three years ago I wrote an article here condemning the trend to “Raise Awareness” as an alternative to actually making a difference. I challenged my readers to think of things to do to make the world a better place other than fundraising, marketing, and shopping.

It’s a tough challenge to rise to. It seems there are two levels of involvement. Either I become Rambo and save the child soldiers myself with my homemade bow and arrow, or I just like Rambo on Facebook. We are not presented with a lot of “middle” level challenge options to participate in the healing of the world. But here’s one:

Talk to people.

Break down the walls of separation that insulate you and your life from the lives of people who are different.

Service-Suggestions-Visit-Senior-Citizens-2012-10-08Go to the place where we hide the old people (Retirement Home) and talk to them. Listen to their stories from recent history, learn from them about their lives and how they wish they had lived differently. Comfort them in their loneliness and fear of death. Sometimes just listen to them ramble even if you can’t understand. Be there.

Go to the place where we hide the sick and dying (Hospital). Talk to the people there. Volunteer to walk with the chaplain and help the chaplain with anything they need done. Many chaplains make "rounds" to all the patients, but really wish they had time to spend with the one or two in crisis who really need attention. Volunteer to cover the rounds. While you are there think about your own mortality. Affirm what the patients say about their feelings.

Go to the place where we hide the poor (Shelter) Talk to people. Bring some food or something if that helps your guilt, but don’t let it excuse it. Feel your guilt. Know that everything you have was given my God and the roles could easily have been reversed. Learn from them about their exciting stories of survival in the jungle that you call a comfortable home. Treat them as people for what will probably be the first time. Ask them where their friends who are not in the shelter sleep and then go there, because only a select group go to the shelter.

Go to the place where they hide people of color (Ghetto) Talk to the people there. Realize they are mostly Christians. Seek their instruction in the ways of Jesus. Their context as a culture is different from yours and sees different things. Their context as a people who are not in power resembles the people of the bible more closely than your own people.

When you talk to all those people (and any others you can think of). As they express felt needs, apart from the need to be heard which I promise you they feel. Then and only then should you begin to up the challenge level as you craft service projects to begin to meet those expressed needs.


Written by RyanGaffney

April 6, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. This was an excellent post!

    I wish everyone in the English speaking language would read it, respond to it, and the follow through with the conviction it brings!


    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

    Agent X

    April 16, 2016 at 9:51 am

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