I’ve been perusing my old xanga site, where I blogged all through college and the beginning of my marriage. How fun it is to have a record of my thoughts going all the way back to high school (where all my friends blogged at diaryland).
I was reading some stories that I had written about my homeless friends in college. Yes, my freshman year I made the drive down to downtown Bryan every week to volunteer at Twin City Mission. That volunteer job evolved into several friendships, but my best friend was Johnny B. He eventually scored his own apartment and I, along with several other people, would go take him and his friends dinner and we would play dominoes late into the night. In college, I hung out with formerly homeless men…socially.
Don’t worry. I’m not bragging. In fact, as I read the stories this morning, my only thought was, “Damn. How far I’ve wandered from being that girl.”
To be honest, I’m a little in shock. The memory that I used to do these things is jarring. As Alex and I have gotten better and better jobs, improved our living situation, become upwardly mobile, we’ve become completely disconnected from the poor. Sure, I can sit in my ivory tower and decree that there should be justice and that we should help the poor, but we’re so far removed from those in poverty that I objectify them as “the poor” instead of thinking of them as real people, who could be my friends.
I’m not sure what this revelation means for us yet, but it definitely means something. I worry that these international students that I’m discipling will look at my life and my disengagement with the poor and think that being a Christian is all about studying the Bible and going to church and being comfortable.
God, forgive me.