"I told him no, but..."

The most encouraging and exciting message I got this week was from Erin. She's in Colombia right now, working with a Christian Peacemaker Team:

People come to our door asking for things. As CPT we don´t give material aid and at first it was pretty easy to say that it´s against our rules. Then I was reading in Lk. where it says give to those who ask and I decided I needed to at least be open to engage with the people who come to our door. At least offer them something to drink (which is basic hospitality here.) So, I´ve begun to do that. Last week a man came to our door asking for some mercado (groceries) and talking about his sick mother. I told him no, but I did offer him some coffee to drink and sat and listened to him for a while. Well, he came back today and said he had to take his mother to the hospital yest. because she was bleeding. I gave him more coffee to drink. And listened to him a few minutes and offered to pray with him and we did. Doing that tho I recognized that I did not pray for my heart and I thot of the scripture from Js. [James 2.15-17] that says that those who say, "go well" but do nothing for the needs of the body aren´t being true Christians.

We certainly have a surplus of mercado in this house, all the time. Yesterday, some women from the Opón came to visit for several hours. We were chatting and they talked about how in the city everything costs money and they just scraped enough together to eat. It made me very conscious of how much food we have in our house. And, this is in the sort of moment that might cause some team members to think we should go shopping!

I think Jesus would say that, "give to those who ask" means exactly that! We do have a lot. I expect I could give to whoever came to our door and we would not even notice it. Unlike at home, people here usually ask for food, not for money, so there´s no way to say that folks would just waste the money on booze or whatever.

I´m fighting with the reality of thinking I should break CPT rules (that doesn´t seem that big now tho) and with all the advice I´ve heard my whole life about it not being helpful in the long run to just give the material aid that people ask for. But, I bet I wouldn´t like to hear that paternalistic speak if I was the person needing food for the day and needed to go door to door asking for it. It makes sense to me that often giving just the things for rt. now isn´t the best in the long run, but if you´re hungry sometimes you don´t have time to think about the long run.

I feel like Jesus is asking something of me. And, I feel sure that what he´s asking is that I step off the cliff and the next time someone comes to the door I give them something. Letting those people past my barrier of just saying no using CPT rules and letting them in our door to drink something and listening to them is what brought me to this point. I could have been safe in my castle of sin without even noticing it if I hadn´t decided to let people in my door.

And here's a recent Agnes I laughed at:

Last night (and this morning) I listened to Metallica's St. Anger, and liked it a lot. Here's some of the lyrics that stood out for me (with some scripture passages I thought of while listening):

St. Anger

Saint Anger 'round my neck
He never gets respect

I feel my world shake
Like an earthquake
Hard to see clear
Is it me? Is it fear?

I need to set my anger free
I need to set my anger free
Set me free

"Jesus said to them, 'Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?' But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart..." (Mk 3.4-5)

"Jesus he began to teach them that he must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, 'Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.'" (Mk 8.32-33)

some kind of monster

These are the eyes that can't see me
These are the hands that drop your trust
These are the boots that kick you around
This is the tongue that speaks on the inside
These are the ears that ring with hate
This is the face that'll never change
This is the fist that grinds you down
This is the voice of silence no more

These are the legs in circles run
This is the beating you'll never know
These are the lips that taste no freedom
This is the feel that's not so safe
This is the face that you'll never change
This is the god that ain't so pure
This is the god that is not pure
This is the voice of silence no more

We the people
Are we the people?

Some kind of monster
This monster lives

This is the face that stones you cold
This is the moment that needs to breathe
These are the claws that scratch these wounds
This is the pain that never leaves
This is the tongue that whips you down
This is the burden of every man
These are the screams that pierce your skin
This is the voice of silence no more

This is the test of flesh and soul
This is the trap that smells so good
This is the flood that drains these eyes
These are the looks that chill to the bone
These are the fears that swing over head
These are the weights that hold you down
This is the end that will never end
This is the voice of silence no more

We the people
Are we the people?

Some kind of monster
This monster lives

This is the cloud that swallows trust
This is the black that uncolors us
This is the face that you hide from
This is the mask that comes undone

I'm in us
I'm in us

"We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one." (1 Jn 5.19)

"I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. [But] He has no power over me...'" (Jn 14.30)

shoot me again

I won't go away
Right here I'll stay

Stand silent in flames
Stand tall 'till it fades

Shoot me again
I ain't dead yet

Shoot me again

I won't go away, with a bullet in my back
Right here I'll stay, with a bullet in my back

I'll stand on my own, with a bullet in my back
I'm stranded and sold, with a bullet in my back

I bite my tongue
Trying not to shoot back
No compromise
My heart won't pump the other way

"You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

"But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also..." (Mt 5.38-39)