Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Downward Mobility

This week I had the awesome privilege of writing a guest post on DL Mayfield's ever-challenging and wonderfully rich blog. Basically I am just honored to be invited into the conversation that takes place there. I strongly encourage you to check out the whole blog if you have not--you will absolutely, positively walk away with things to chew on.

This post was never really an essay, just an on-going list in my iPad notes that became a post when I decided to throw it out there and see if anyone could relate.

Below are a few excerpts, but you can read the whole thing here :

On most days, my privilege ostentatiously dances in my face and frustrates my desire to really, truly live in solidarity with the people I am surrounded by. The voices that call this pursuit of downward mobility “ignorant idealism” ring louder and surer than my unsteady, but wishful, belief that this type of living is not only beautiful, but possible.
...I sometimes I feel like I am just playing dress-up. I put on a costume and play the part of friend to the poor, friend to the sick, and friend to the orphan, but remain so far above them (much to my dismay) that it seems a laughable feat to really live in solidarity with them. If I lived in America, I would most likely be dependent on government assistance. But here!? Here I am rich. I am healthy. I have family who call me their own and always have my back. I have people who would fight for me, if I needed it.
One of the things I love most about Jesus and the way He used His time on earth to teach us how to live is how mind-blowingly clear He is. I am simple minded and need straightforward directions; He graciously made it so that we do not have to make any assumptions or decode any messages to understand His heart for the poor. He is crazy about them. He honors them and cherishes them and calls them His friends; not for charity’s sake, but for love’s sake. I love the way Father Greg Boyle defines this solidarity: “kinship– not serving the other, but being one with the other. Jesus was not “a man for others”; he was one with them. There is a world of difference in that.”
 This is what I want. And this is what God is doing, slowly but surely, and not without pain and difficulty and awkwardness and lots of fumbles.


  1. Well, you sure moved me.

    I don't live in Kenya and you don't live in Goshen, but we're asking many of the same questions.

    This is beautiful. Beautiful.

  2. "...not for charity's sake, but for Love's sake." Absolutely.

  3. I love what God is doing in your heart, this is so humbling. Thank you for sharing!