What I’m Reading Today: Luke 21
When I was in my twenties, I had very specific ideas about how one should go about changing the world. I thought the most important way was to work primarily on changing entire systems. That meant I became very politically active and participated in nearly every march, petition gathering event, and demonstration I could find. I still believe that systemic change is important – but over the years I’ve come to realize that there is one other type of change that is every bit as important.
And what kind of change is that?
The kind of change that results from one person sharing his/her story with another. You can quote all the statistics you want when you are debating a controversial issue like basic human rights for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, but it isn’t until a person takes a risk and shares her or his story with opponents of those rights that hearts and minds are actually changed. Same thing with an issue like poverty. People can throw around judgmental phrases like, “Homeless people should simply try harder and they’d be able to get themselves off the streets” –yet when the judgmental person hears the story behind the homeless person’s plight, the sense of judgment is often replaced by compassion.
So why am I talking about this?
In today’s reading, Jesus used this very principle to address the issue of stewardship. Instead of launching into an abstract speech on the theological importance of giving; Jesus simply looked up, saw a poor widow putting two small coins into the offering plate, and used the incident to make a foundational point regarding the nature of giving.
Today I would encourage you to examine your own life and see if it contains a story that – when shared with others – could be used as agents of transformation for others. If you find one, start looking for opportunities to share that story with another. You never know how that story might change the world!
Til next time…