The 3 R's
During last week's class, we talked about a guy called John Perkins. During the civil rights movement, his thoughts, voice and actions were very influential in healing wounds and bridging gaps made and left by issues of poverty and racial segregation. During our discussion, we talked about the crux of his theology, which lied in what he called the 3 R's, which stand for:
For the first R, Perkins found himself physically relocating into areas that were impoverished and brimming with issues of racial disharmony and violence. After the move, he began the difficult task of reconciliation between the different races. At the time, it was a predominantly whites vs. blacks issue, to which Perkins found himself speaking a message of grace and healing. Finally, he began taking steps of redistribution where he began moving resources from the haves to the have-not's. In other words, making sure that those who had in excess cared for those who had nothing.
That, in a nutshell, was John Perkins. As I listened and reflected upon the 3 R's, I started to wonder whether I'm doing my part in bringing the 3 R's into the Beasley neighborhood.
Although I've relocated, I'm not really IN Beasley and can't really say that Beasley is MY community, even though I know it is.
Although I've talked to people about the issue of racial harmony, but I haven't found myself actively involved in healing wounds between ethnicities, generations or genders.
Although I've tried to loosen my vice grip I have on 'stuff', I still have more than I need, but feel that I don't have enough.
As I thought more about this, as well as talked this through with Jen on Tuesday at the cafe, I realized that perhaps there's more to do than we can possibly accomplish on our own. The question of 'Am I doing enough?' is perhaps a rhetorical question, because the answer seems like it will always be 'No'. If we do things and feel like we've done enough, all we need to do is peruse the pages of a newspaper and see the hopelessness and evil that too often trumps any good that we try to conjure up. The fact that we cannot do enough has made me realize how much we must rely on God to do in, for and around us what we cannot accomplish on our own in this lifetime.
Though I know that I have a part to play in this earthly symphony, I want to play it as best I can. But for the notes I can't reach, the instruments I can't play, the beats I miss and the mistakes I make, I must constantly remind myself that God is bigger than my shortcomings and finiteness, and loves Beasley more than I know or give Him credit for.