Monday, July 28, 2014

Social Justice Coffee Break

I've been part of Bread for the World since the 80's.  I like their vision of social justice and the way the group operates.  I like their ecumenical, non-partisan focus on making sure the world gets fed.

A side note:  it's interesting to ponder that during my lifetime thus far, we could actually feed the world; the problem is food distribution, not food production.  And during my lifetime, that could change as climate change wreaks havoc with our planet.

Two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from the southeast coordinator of donor relations for Bread for the World.  He was going to be in town and wondered if we could meet.

I thought about my schedule.  It was one of the busiest weeks, with lots of faculty observations and faculty files needing to be completed by the end of the week.  I just wasn't sure that I could find even the tiniest hole.  My schedule before the busy week was so busy that I didn't even respond to his e-mail.

A week ago, I got home to find a phone message from Bread for the World.  It was only Monday, and already my week felt overwhelming.

But as I slept, I dreamed about my calendar and phone messages and making some time.  I woke up, wondering why my subconscious didn't come up with more inventive dreams, something that involved flying or being able to swim underwater with gills.  But I went back to the e-mail and realized that the Bread for the World coordinator would be in town through Friday.  I did have a window on Friday morning.  My window matched his window.

We met at a Panera.  We had coffee and talked about the work the group has done and about the political situation both in South Florida and across the nation.  We talked about the group's vision for the future, which still revolves around eliminating hunger across the globe.

I had thought about avoiding a face-to-face meeting because I was afraid I'd be asked for money, and I don't have much extra to give.  But the issue of money never came up.

We did talk about time and organizing alongside others.  We talked about my writing and how I might help.  Yes, these things I can do.  I did caution, "I will not be one of those people at a political rally yelling in the back of the room.  But I am willing to ask questions at a microphone."

I got back to my office to find an urgent e-mail from the organization asking me to call my representative, which I did.  I'm lucky, in that she often votes the way I'd like her to, but it never hurts for our senators and representatives to hear from us. 

Our coffee meet-up was only an hour, but it might have been the best hour of my week.  It was great to be reminded of what a group of concerned citizens can do.  

It's also good to be reminded of what the Holy Spirit can do.  I think back to my night of restless dreaming.  I think of how God has often spoken through our dreams.  Was God speaking to me that night?

I think so.  I woke up feeling pushed towards that meeting.  Doubters will say it was just my restless subconscious thinking or some strange sense of guilt.  But I'm calling it the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is full of stories of people who said yes to God, along with a few people who said no.  I'm glad to be reminded of the importance of staying receptive to God's vision.


Anonymous said...

Quit the crap lady. Remove your blog from the Lutheran web site.

You're a social activist -- nothing more. Someone who has a warped view of society.

Give your money to the poor and give up wanting to be a rich hippie. People can read -- they know you're a faker.

John Flanagan said...

If social justice is important to you, a professing Christian, then you might consider fighting for the rights of the unborn children, destroyed in the womb because they are inconvenient and unwanted in 90 percent of all cases, with only a fraction aborted due to rape, incest, or the health of the mother. This issue alone is the scourge of our land, and as I have followed this problem for decades, noting that 50 million unborn children made in God's image have been murdered since Roe vs Wade. So where is the outrage among alleged Christian liberals and social activists? A significant number of vocal women and men keep this issue alive, while those like Hillary Clinton, Obama, most Democrats, most progressives, prefer to feel a woman has a right to kill her unborn child, even up to the maximum time allowed, but no tears are shed for the pain inflicted on the inconvenient unborn child. If social activism is your area of interest, besides sharing your mixed up thoughts, you might also write about the need to safeguard traditional marriage between one man and one woman.