I walked toward the front door of the church building, carrying a cup of Starbucks, my Chrome laptop, and my Kindle. Sitting inside, I knew, was Ellen. She’s a woman who didn’t have a job, a house, a car, parents, family, or a place to stay. She ended up at our church because she had run out of options in the big town and came walking toward us.
I don’t think she was intending to come to our place today. I think she was asking churches if they knew of any place to stay because that’s one of the options when you don’t have anything else.
I was acutely aware that the technology in my hand could, new, pay for a month’s rent for her. I was aware that the coffee in my hand could buy a dozen eggs.
Often at those moments I have a twinge of guilt, followed by writing a post like this in which I talk about the need to share resources and deal with inequities. And then we have conversations about whether we should always live in guilt and can’t we have fun sometimes and technology isn’t wrong. But I realized that I didn’t want to write that post.
But I gotta ask about how I’m using what I have.
For example, the Kindle can be an amazing tool. I have the pictures of everyone from our congregation that would let us take their picture for a directory. I have my 99 goals list. I have drafts of some writing of a friend. I have a couple Bibles and a book on Everyday Justice.
I have the potential to stay on task. To learn names and faces. To pray specifically.To learn for writing.
If I do, we will all learn to help Ellen.
If I don’t?
By the way. Ellen’s got a place for the night and a couple meals and we’re working on tomorrow. I knew you’d be wondering. Because you care.