"we don't need them"?

Another discussion comment to add to the article:

Okay here's an example relating to one of the core concerns of the Occupy movement. This isn't about what to do on Wall Street, because I honestly think that's not the place to go for answers to these problems. But I think this is directly relevant. I just read an article about the Oakland protests, and one of the organizers (who was threatening to "shut down the city") said, "The only thing they seem to care about is money and they don't understand that it's our money they need. We don't need them, they need us.''

That sounds good, but is it true? "We don't need them"? There was an article here on JR recently that confessed and lamented a dependence on products from the corporations. But even before we can decide what products to buy, where is our money coming from? I would bet a large portion of the protesters (and those reading this as well) get their income from corporations, large and small. And even those who do not now have jobs seem to think hope lies in the actions of government and the financiers of Wall Street. "Where's my bailout?" So, really, we don't need them?

Starting our own small businesses (being our own "job producers") isn't much of an answer either. I live on a small farm with a community that runs several cottage industries, and it's hard for them. You have to compete in the business world. And that means also competing with bigger businesses. But more importantly, you have to compete in the capitalist system, which means playing by the rules of capitalism that so many at OWS seem to hate (I do too). I've seen what running your own business can do to people. I try to encourage my friends to get out.

So what might "God's power" look like in this difficult situation? It wouldn't look like competing with corporations, or demanding anything from businessmen or politicians. Those are the struggles of human power. Struggles that Jesus didn't seem to engage in, though he also had needs for food and shelter and clothing. So what did God's power look like in his life, economically? Pretty much like this:

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. ...if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?

"Do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys."
That may sound idealistic, but Jesus lived it. He showed what a life like that looked like, and it wasn't one of abject poverty. Because our Father is generous. At the Passover, Jesus asked his disciples, "When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" They answered, "Nothing."

Now that's a life where we don't need the money of corporations, or government bailouts, or anything from the rich and (humanly) powerful. Because, though we remain weak and poor, God's power is far more than sufficient to provide everything we need, and much more.

Maybe this example seems too far in the past, though, so I'll just say a bit about my own experience trying to follow Jesus' example in this. I've lived for years without a job, doing only volunteer work and living on gifts given in various ways. I'm married now, living and working in a rural community, with food and income coming from a variety of sources, all gifts. No car or medical insurance, but those needs also have been met by gifts when they arise. And we very rarely even have to ask. Like Jesus said, "Your Father knows your needs." Our income is way below the poverty line, but we feel very generously provided for, and I think anyone who visited us would think so as well.

I suppose that's quite enough. There's more info here, if you're interested. But the journey this far has shown me quite clearly how God's miraculous power makes human power (even organized mass human efforts) seem like nothing in comparison.