I am overwhelmingly grateful for the way that God has gifted me with a sense of “home.” I have a comfortable place to live and share with family and friends. I’m blessed to be a part of the FOC community. Home is great. There are many ways that I think about home. Home for me is not a place or a building, it’s really the relationships that anchor me, fill me with laughter, joy and hope for the future. Home is a reality of love, peace, and belonging. Home is community.
But what happens when those thing are threatened, lost or torn away? As I was driving to the church today, I noticed a “panhandler’s” sign tossed in a bush. In the past two weeks, I’ve attended two workshops on the issues of homelessness here in Clark County. The problem is growing exponentially as rents rise and our low income neighbors are forced out by huge increases in rents. Families that once could get by no longer can. The question posed by the workshops was, “How do we fix this?”
On the radio as I drove was a report on the global refugee crisis brought on by the exodus of war torn Syria and the ISIS ravaged Middle East. Community, peace, joy and hope for the future; all those things that give me the sense of home, seem a desperate dream for those who risk everything in search of something better. The lingering questions were, “Where will we put them all? How do we fix this?”
I guess the thing that struck me deeply was the questions all include “we.” The message was clear. These issues belong to all of us. We as a society, as a global society, need to get serious about working toward real solutions. I believe there is a great deal of potential in embracing the “power of We.”
While I might not have the resources or the wisdom to turn this around for our tumultuous world, I know that “We” are not powerless. We do have the power to affect it. We have our voices, pens, votes and choices. We can write and advocate on the local and state level concerning the needs in our community. We can work to make landlord policies more just. We can advocate at the federal level, create opportunities for those displaced, and have hearts that welcome. We can choose where our time and resources are spent. We are powerful enough to have an impact.
Pastor Kathleen “Kit” Neeley