Friday, November 09, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

Awhile back I blogged about a self-identifying "sister" who runs a local mission for the needy and who, in her spare time, writes rambling letters to the editor in the hometown paper that are politically to the right of the John Birch Society as well as rabidly homophobic. I pondered, on my blog, the wisdom of walking into the mission one day with a clothing donation -- maybe out of cussedness or defiance or the ol' coals-on-head holy-passive-aggression thing.

Well, my friend S's church -- specifically its children -- beat me to it. S belongs to another ELCA congregation. S's pastor and co-parishoners have repeatedly gone head-to-head with Sister X in the local paper's Letters to the Editor column. This congregation zigs where Sister X zags.

The other day a group of kids from S's church visited Sister X's mission with a delivery of food to be given away there. They had composed a song about Jesus that they sang to the mission workers.

I wonder if this isn't the way to start chipping at the Great Polarization on a grassroots level; just show up.

My pastor, a few of his mainline clerical friends and some of our people "just showed up" at a local National Day of Prayer event that has traditionally been a rally for Falwellian sociopolitical types; when it was their time to join in prayer they prayed for the masses of un- and underemployed in the area; for strength and wisdom to weather the changes in geopolitics, in economics, in environment that are changing life in this region; they prayed for protection from the hopelessness and frustration that lead to nihilism and scapegoating and hate.

Maybe I'll just show up at the mission with my grocery bag of clothes and some canned goods, after all.


Amy Stewart said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with the comment about chipping at the Great Polarization. Perhaps actions like that are how we can begin to work toward that whole "One Body" idea.

Mother Laura said...

That sounds like a great idea. I was amazed by the power of the Holy Spirit recently when a friendly and courteous dialogue on some hot topics, which I think can be ongoing, evolved on my blog with two super conservative guys (one RC, one Anglican). Relationships can do a lot to soften dogma.