Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Open Eyes, Open Mouth

Found these in Proverbs this morning, like I'd never seen them before:

28:27 "He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses."

29:7 "The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge."

From my Baptist grandparents, I learned evangelism. From my Presbyterian (PCA) heritage, we learned theology. From Ben's Christian Missionary Alliance heritage, we learned the importance of missions. When we dabbled in Catholicism, we learned about tradition and history. When we were Apostolic, we learned about the Holy Spirit. When we became non-conservative Mennonites a year and a half ago, we were exposed to a part of the church body that we'd not seen before, the social justice crusaders.

I have learned to appreciate all of our experiences with different branches of the body of Christ. We are enjoying our newest adventure, and are joining with them in passionate cries for those who suffer throughout the world. For now, as a new church, we are focusing our energies on the local poor and a sister church in Colombia, South America, who with so much less than we have, is making a profound impact on its neighborhood. Ben and I are taking Spanish classes at church so that we can speak to our community's dominate poor population from Guatemala and Mexico and correspond with our sister church.

Before joining this church we didn't know any poor people. Not personally. We had a Compassion kid in Haiti, but that was it. For whatever reason, poor people want to come to our church, and it's been great to see imperfect people in the pews, like ourselves. There always were in other churches, but not that we could tell from looking at them. It's symbolic of the humble spirit that permeates our services. Where we share our flaws, our triumphs and little and big ways we see God every week.

It's funny, how I've read the Proverbs 31 woman so many times and never noticed how just before it was this:

31:8&9 "Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy."


Jessica said...

I love this post Becca- love the way that you notice the good you've learned from your experiences with different churches (something I sometimes forget), and how you describe our church . . . funny, I never really thought about that verse in Prov.31 either, though I've been taught that passage many times!

mattmarie said...

I love what you wrote, Becca. I too have learned so much from other Christians...I began as a conservative Mennonite and in Argentina learned from the Toba indigenous believers, Anglicans/Episcopals, Baptists, Pentecostals, Charismatic Catholics, Liberationist Catholics, Methodists...all of these have enriched my faith & enlarged my world view...and now I'm privileged to worship in the same church with you, Becca, as a non-conservative Mennonite!! Awesome...