On Wednesday this week, I was sitting with some of my homeless friends after I had given them some clothes, socks and other necessities. A church came into their camp while I was there and had lunch plates. The man from this church said, “You’re new, huh?” I didn’t know quite what he was talking about. “How long you been out here?” Then I caught it. This guy thought I was homeless.
Now, that’s perfectly okay. I don’t mind being mistaken for homeless. As a matter of fact, I like it. Because I know a secret. Referring back to my post , when we are the “Good Samaritan” we abandon our place of privilege and get down next to the one who needs help. And often when we share the burden of the disenfranchised, we get a little dirt on our hands. When that happens, to the outside world, we look like those we’re trying to help. We become our neighbor.
I have a tendency to go out, get dirty and then come straight home and take a shower (spiritually speaking). I don’t want to smell or look homeless after I come home for the day. But, here’s my suggestion to you. If you are involved with justice in any form, leave a little dirt under your fingernails. I’m not suggesting that we should brag about our service, but don’t be afraid to share your experiences. When you do abandon your place of privilege and help someone who no one else would, you have a story to tell. You’re obligated to tell that story.
You’re obligated to tell the story because others need to hear it. When we abandon our privilege and have a positive experience and we share that experience, it encourages another to abandon their privilege for maybe an hour, a day or a week. Let people know about the justice you’re involved with. Speak loudly about it. Encourage others to work towards the justice that they’re passionate about.
What justice are you passionate about? What do you do to work towards that justice? do you encourage anyone to accompany you on your path?