The Peace with Justice subcommittee has begun a new work on the NWYM website. Beginning in August Friends from around our yearly meeting have been blogging almost daily on the subject of peace and justice in their personal lives. The following are a few examples of what our contributors are writing. To read more you can visit the Peace with Justice blog on the NWYM website: nwfriends.org/peace-with-justice.
Yesterday I gave a guy 40 dollars. I was pretty sure he was a scam artist. He told a heartbreaking story with intense drama. Well groomed and acceptably dressed, he said he is, by trade, a used car salesman—laid off (same thing he said when he was here several years ago). He fit all the stereotypes associated with that calling.
I didn’t believe his story, even as he told it. Later, re-playing it, I could spot even more holes in the tale. Fifteen minutes into our conversation he finally dropped the request. He needed 40 dollars to pay his phone bill.
The evening before this man came to me, I’d hit a wrong button for cash back at the grocery store. In a hurry to be gone, I’d decided not to cancel the transaction so I had extra cash in my purse.
Taking a bit of unholy pleasure in breaking up his well-scripted routine, I said, “I’m going to give you the money. Now you don’t have to worry about that. What else do you want to talk about?” He gave a shout of pleasure; my secretary considered coming to my rescue. We spoke for another forty-five minutes about God, sobriety, and whether he’d make a good pastor. “I can sell a car to anyone—why couldn’t I sell God?” There wasn’t time to answer that, and I didn’t want to attempt it anyway. His needs list came to include two blankets, sleeping bag, desktop computer, and a car. I said I’d pray about it. I will.
This isn’t a happy-ever-after story. The man really is a scam-guy. Others have seen him panhandling. I’m guessing his life is far more tragic than the melodrama he enacts to get his needs met. His need to be heard was as pressing as his desire for some dollars…. (read full post)
by Bernie Bosnjak, pastor, Hillsboro Friends
From my house church experience, I learned the pure delight of matching need in the world with the resources of God’s people. And while it was wonderful to listen to the folks around us in everyday life to take that back into the church for discernment, there were times you knew you would never see a person again. The moment for love was now!
So I and others began to carry “God Money.” This was money that we set aside for God to spend any way God saw fit. It meant that we could spring into helpful action at the drop of a hat when need presented itself. So whether it is paying for the person’s groceries in front of you in the checkout line, or handing a check to the receptionist who is barely holding back tears over the bills that are overwhelming her, or blessing someone with the desire of his heart—it is great joy to walk around life with this secret partnership with God’s spirit of generosity. (read full post)
by Jan Wood, North Seattle Friends
A few weeks ago there was a devastating and mysterious toddler death in our town, and the mother is currently in custody because she admitted to harming her child. The other four children in the home went to stay with relatives, but because they have different fathers they were not able to stay together.
Through an acquaintance at work that is related to the father of the two younger children, a member of our church was able to find out some of the children’s needs. As a church we are busy collecting clothing and supplies to give to them. We are finding the best way to help others and find out what their needs are is through established relationships. We are also reminded to prayerfully ask God what we might give when we feel compelled to help.
In addition, several people expressed concern for the mother and wanted to know if there was something we might be able to do for her. One woman was compelled to drive to the county jail to simply pray on the site where she is being kept. Other ideas have circulated but none have come to fruition. The general consensus among many in our church is that regardless of what she did she is still a child of God, and we as people who follow Christ are called to love her and not judge her. (read full post)
by Luke Ankeny, pastor, Homedale Friends