Day 9 - March 5
WTS M.Div. anticipated 2020; WTS Student Council President 2020-21; Resident Manager at Birch Intentional Community; Intern at American University Methodist-Protestant Ministry; Madison Street UMC, Clarksville, TN
Cleaning my entire house when I have an assignment due.
Practicing a theology of enough in a culture of scarcity ~ Matthew 7:7–12
Over the J-Term this year, I had the opportunity to travel to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
In our orientation session, the director of the Pine Ridge Reconciliation Center, Pastor Karen, gave us a bit of advice: “If someone tries to give you something during your time here, take it. In many parts of the United States it is customary to compliment someone’s appearance based on what they are wearing. In Lakota culture, when you compliment what someone is wearing, your comment may be perceived as you saying you want that thing, and then the only appropriate response would be, of course, to give it to you.”
She followed this by going more in depth about the ways that the Lakota people, especially in their traditional way of life, were an incredibly communal people. Pastor Karen said that normally when she tells that story, the number-one rebuttal from immersion participants is an insistence that we, too, are communally minded. She continued; we are only communally minded when it works in our favor. When someone asks us for $20, we first think about our own needs and wants before ever considering letting go of that $20.
I have spent a lot of time since that moment thinking about the ways this is true for me. My challenge for all of us in this season of Lent is that we might begin to consider what our lives might look like if we really started to live into a theology of having more than enough rather than looking out for others when it is convenient for us to do so.