Category: By Christian
Dang. The last time I posted was on Valentine's Day. I'm sure many of you were worried that Stacy and I fell into some tragically Shakespearean situation. But alas, all is well between these two star crossed lovers in Kansas City, where we lay our scene.

Actually, what went down was a combination of life and ingrained violence.

Life happened because our family needs a personal assistant. Seriously. If we want to do anything we need to schedule it 2 weeks out because our calendar if full to the max. It's a seasonal deal like most jobs with kids are, but it can certainly provide a formidable wall to scale in terms of finding time to blog.

Now about that ingrained violence deal. It's not something that I struggle with, personally. It is something that is totally entwined in the culture of the inner city however. I would go so far as to say that in the ministry I work at, our biggest paradigm shifting has to do with modeling and encouraging both actions and words that do not involve violence. Since I work in the inner city, there will be times when kids will get in fights and the experience will drain me and it will give me pause to reflect, and after a time of being silent I will hopefully emerge with some constructive thoughts.

I'm not well-versed in the history of violence in the inner city. I do know that violent images in hip hop are both a reflection of this culture as well as a contributor to this culture. I know that it is difficult to keep victims of violence from raising fists against each other as well as against their oppressors. I know that if one is not pushed to find non violent solutions to problems, one will resort to what one has seen. I know that a lack of hope can make people feel as though they literally need to fight for and over everything so that they don't get cheated out of what is theirs. And in cases where you feel like you have little more of value than your reputation, you will not hesitate to swing on someone who puts you down.

Those are the paradigms we strive to change. Helping people see their value as children of God. Helping people see that there can be peaceful resolutions to conflict. Empowering people with the necessary tools and life skills to be leaders in their community who can change hurtful cycles that continue to perpetuate violence and injustice.

God asks us to live in a way that others might have hope.

And that hope is a pretty cool thing, but it's tough. I knew in my heart that it was a tough thing to elicit and share, but I could never express it as well as Susan Dunlap has...

Hope is an action
Hope is specific
Hope means patience
Hope is rebellious
Hope is communal

That's tight. I would say that justice is all of those things as well. So is the Gospel. That being the case, love would probably have to join the party as well. When we realize that those are our definitions and expectations of hope, love, justice and the Gospel, it makes it a little easier to come out of those times where they overwhelm us. It makes us realize that they aren't just good ideas. They are a way of life and if we are walking with God we will never be without them.

Fair Dinkum

0 comments so far.

Something to say?