{receive & enter}

thoughts on the way

“No matter what word we use as a replacement, it’s important we move away from using the term “development”. It may be getting in the way of not only achieving support for our work, but of finding and implementing the solutions that we so desperately need.”

“Describing a country as developing leads to the use of simplistic primary indicators by which we measure success and, in turn, simplistic solutions. We know that per capita income and GDP are almost useless indicators of poverty reduction. They fail to measure income inequality or provision of universal public services”

“Development as a term is no longer appropriate – unless you’re a property developer, an IT developer or a fundraiser.”

In moments of confrontation, of fear, of racism – Jesus offers us a new script.

In it white folks and black folks – but especially white folks – recover our sight to the ugliness of racism that has enabled us to snatch power and control for centuries.

In it young black men like Trayvon and Michael are released from the script that says they are thugs destined to captivity in jail or an early death on an urban street.

In Jesus’ script Trayvon and Michael see themselves – not in the hopelessness of those left behind but in the hope of a Savior who came to set them free, again.

None of lives without a script, of course. Which is why it matters so much which story we’re living.

This narrative – this American story – does not kill white people. It doesn’t even hurt white people.

This narrative keeps things the way they are, where despite very obvious and visible examples to the contrary, the corner on power in this country is still overwhelmingly grasped by white men.

The narrative, underlying and insidious as it is, protects white people from our racist hearts; says “just another gangbanger, what a shame.”

The narrative kills young black men, over and over again.

“All divisions based on race or class or even gender are transcended in the oneness of the sanctifying Spirit. The power of the risen Christ becomes effective to the extent that this vision becomes reality in the community.”

“In light of the cross, feminist theologians reflect that sociologically it was probably better that the incarnation happened in a male human being. For if a woman had preached compassion and given the gift of herself even unto death, the world would have shrugged: is this not what women are supposed to do anyway? But for a man to live and die like this in a world of male privilege is to challenge the patriarchal ideal of male domination at its root. The cross is the kenosis, the self-emptying, of patriarchy.”

“The truth of interconnection belies the effectiveness of war in all its guises.”

Nor do I dispute that there is sometimes no alternative but to fight. But addicted to the perceptual and conceptual lens of good versus evil, we apply the methods of a fight out of habit. It is that habit, and the lens that motivates it, that I am criticizing.

In a more and more obviously interconnected age, the habit of war is becoming harder to sustain.