A few months ago, on the drive to my office at Compassion International, I was listening to Shane Claiborne's audible book , The Irresistible Revolution: living as an ordinary radical. Pulling into the parking lot, Shane read these words; “Faith-based nonprofits can too easily be the mirror image of secular organizations, maintaining the same hierarchies of power and separation between rich and poor. They can too easily merely facilitate the exchange of goods and services, putting plenty of professionals in the middle to guarantee that the rich do not have to face the poor and that power does not shift.”
Shane's words disturbed me and caused me to question; am I a professional in the middle? Does my work, at the office I'm about to enter, facilitate the separation between rich and poor? Or is what we are doing actually building a bridge between the rich and the poor?
To answers these questions seriously, I had to take a good look at what we are doing and what our actions produce. I've concluded that we are in fact building bridges. These bridges help “the rich” (people like me) discover the political, economic, and spiritual realities of children who live in extreme poverty. Our first step may be small and if we stop there, then Shane's words ring true. But through letter writing and other prodding, God continues to touch our hearts and we take another step. If we continue to walk this path, before we know it, we will be visiting a child face to face – a delighted face in an otherwise dreadful place. In this way we are sending ourselves into the world to join with others to experience the Kingdom of God in a personal way.
All these may be small steps, but I must commit to continue walking. As Shane says, my destination should lead to “spreading the Kingdom like a disease – through touch, through breath, through life. Spreading it through people infected by love.”