It’s no secret I love Brant Hansen. I’m also unsatisfied with the American version of Christianity (my own version included), I’m infatuated with what that phrase “kingdom of heaven” meant to Jesus and early Christians, and I believe when we don’t love “the least,” we don’t truly love Jesus…at all…it’s impossible. All of these loves and thoughts collide in a new way in an open-hearted post from Brant. Well worth your time to read the entire thing, but here’s one of the most inspiring snippets:
I think I’ve taken one too many trips. I can’t listen to “Where the Streets Have No Name” anymore without crying. Here are a few of the faces I see:
In Calcutta, I met a little girl who looks just like the other uniformed girls in her Christian school in the slums. One difference: When they shut the lights off at the school, and everyone goes home, she stays in the darkened building. She lives in the hallway. No parents, and no chance, save her Compassion International sponsor.
In Sumatra, I met a Muslim Imam who hated Christians—until our little group cried with him as he searched for his little boy after the tsunami. After just a week, he said he now understood we were not his enemies, we loved him, and he wondered why his “brothers” were not helping. The church there, somehow still there, needs our money.
I looked out the window at buildings, still containing bodies, during an underground worship gathering of about 20 people in Banda Aceh. They had no money, only the clothes they were wearing, the smell of rotting bodies was still in the air, and they sand, a capella, in their language, “How Great Thou Art.” I couldn’t sing.
In the slums of Costa Rica: People positively mobbing us to get their very own copy of the Bible.
Most memorably: In the slums of Nairobi, there’s barbed-wire around some church gathering-places. When some hungry Compassion kids get their food—other kids try to jam themselves through the wire, from without. I watched crowds of moms, and kids, watch from without, while the kids within had a chance.
In Kibera, Kenya, we visited a desperate church with a “job-training” program: They trained girls to be cosmetologists. They proudly showed us their two old-school hairdryers, and they proudly showed us a few half-empty bottles of shampoo.
Please tell me, again, about how we need to “attract” more Americans, using more features, to a building, when in some places, they have to fence kids from the church building, for lack of funds?
This really IS a big deal to me and Carolyn. I don’t know how to get around this. I’m sorry. Again, please be patient with me. I can’t figure this one out. The overhead should not be this high.
Thanks for the honest public wrestling, Brant. It’s helping me think through what it is I value exactly and what my next steps are in living that out.