Sunday, September 6, 2009

'Service' III: Rubber hits Road

Here is the last installment in the is ‘service’ spirituality conversation.
To start at the beginning of the conversation, go here.

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I am in alignment with you on the way many churches and many spiritual folks interface with those who are in need. When people are treated like not-people by religious institutions (by anyone really), I have a really hard time with that.
Certainly leaving those in need 'outside the gate' is directly against biblical teaching, that seems unequivocal to me.
And it drives me nuts, as well.

All I can say is that pretty much all of our institutions are physically-focused, and they teach us to be physically focused. On the physical: time, energy, money, resources… everything is limited. On the physical, the law of the jungle prevails...

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At the same time, I live in a city where I interface with homeless people and those in need all the time (as well as those who are scamming – for there are many of these as well). So, this isn’t just theory for me.
I have systems to deal with these kinds of situations, basically:

1) I try to carry dollars in my wallet, because otherwise I end up giving away $5 or $10, when I want to give $1 or $2.

2) My DEFAULT is to give to someone who asks me. If they ask for 1, I give them 2.

3) AND, I tune in to how God is leading me, IF to give and how much.

4) The important part is, IMO (whether I give or not, or how much), is to treat the person I am interfacing with respect and kindness, as a human being. This is a difficult thing, IMO: to ‘be with’ someone who is in a very different situation.

Michael is very good at this, he interacts with the very poor, and the very rich, all as people, with a high level of comfort and ease. (He is less obviously committed to his relationship with God than I am – but WAY more spiritually ‘developed’ than I am on many fronts, including this one.) I am naturally a shy introvert, so interfacing with Anyone (who is not my intimate) is more challenging for me, those who are very rich and very poor, more so. The fact is, interfacing with them lights-up a lot of ‘pictures’ (issues/hooks) for me, which I have not let go of yet, so I 'trip'…

(I also 'trip' with the very ‘powerful’ and very ‘powerless,’ the very 'ugly' and very 'beautiful,’ the very ‘intelligent’ and the ‘mentally challenged,’ etc - I do a lot of tripping ; )

5) Lastly - honestly, sometimes I don’t want to deal with all this, and I sometimes walk or drive a different way. I am not being my best self here, but sometimes I don’t have the energy to deal with it, so I don’t. Yeah, I judge myself for it...

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Definitely, but for the grace of God go I, from my perspective, as well.
God provides very, very well for us, day to day. But, I have never lived far from the edge economically, so I get it. When we moved across the country, we left many of our safety nets, so the possibility of ‘falling off the edge’ is that much more real for me.

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When I speak about being filled with God, that is all about spiritual energy. When I allow God to increase in my system - dump the heavy and let in the Light, then I can manifest God more in the world. Basically more of the Holy Spirit is in ‘play’ in this reality. I believe that reliably manifests on the physical, obviously and/or subtly, as ‘good’ fruit - a form of ‘service’

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I am glad to hear you are not changing your mind, and you are committed to advocating for ‘love in action’. Seems like it is your ‘job’, and you are doing it well.
Part of my ‘job’ is to encourage us to consciously be what we already are: spirit in flesh, playing in the world, and to ‘live and move and have our being’ from that place (from that rock ; )

I also very much appreciate the conversation.

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