This is a bit longer article than ones I normally post for your reading, but I think the content of it is very worthwhile. This is a lesson that spoke to me as I am often someone who wants to see the goal accomplished. It is a lesson that those of us who are working for reform in our church need to keep in mind. We are probably not going to see those changes we are pushing for in our lifetimes, but we have helped build foundations and, maybe if we are lucky, will see even some new walls of a reformed church go up….and not walls of exclusion. From all my reading of Francis, this is how he approaches what he is doing. He refers to it as the “incomplete thought” and he is not bothered in the least by that incompleteness……Reyanna
By John J. McLaughlin, July 20, 2014, America Magazine On-Line
Why can’t we finish this house?
I hear this question every summer from teenagers and young adults who have come with me to the Dominican Republic, eager to make a difference in the lives of the poor. To be fair, some of them are merely reframing the question that friends and family have asked them: How many houses will you build on your service trip? They ask with good intentions, no doubt, but with some naïveté and some cultural paternalism as well. (Just what kind of a house would one expect to build in two weeks?)
When the students realize they will not see the completed fruit of their labors right then and there, they often feel disappointed and even worry the community will resent them for having “failed” this service project. Weren’t we good enough, they ask. Didn’t we work hard enough? (To continue reading, click here.)