I have been in conversation with a soulful one.
Our conversation has been rich and roaming. Most recently, it has touched upon a topic that has felt somehow dangerous: how is it we are in relationship with all that is? How does our answer to that question impact our sense of being in community? And very much at the quick of this question, how does our answer to the question shape our communal policy making?
I think on this conversation as I read of layoffs and cutbacks and the crystalizing of economic values unfolding in these days. As a people long unwilling to consider limits, we are being asked to consider what it means to pare down and pay attention. The signs are ominous. So many of us have so much.
And so many of us have so little.
And we are all in it together.
How is it we can any longer afford a health care system that is not available to all? How is it we can afford to cut spending to programs that equip and empower our children through early childhood programs and public education? How is it we can imagine that the squandering of the potentiality of any does not impoverish us all?
In conversation with my mother-in-law yesterday she spoke of the ways she learned and lived through the Great Depression. The community paid attention. They sought to reach out to those struggling and there was no one in her town, she believed, who landed outside of the communal net of care woven by all.
Idyllic fantasies? No, faith bedrock. Throughout scripture, poverty and the challenges it spawns is mentioned thousands of times as the concern of the community of God. To be a person of faith is to know stewardship of the lives and hopes and potentials of creation. Stewardship is engagement; taking the considerable that we have and seeking the good.
As we live into the rebuilding of these days, I pray for an awareness of how it is we are woven one with the other.