“When you think of the word poor, what does that evoke for you?” was the opening question of a presentation on Poverty in Texas. The responses from those attending ranged from seeing poverty as people who are economically disadvantaged, educationally behind the average high school education, socially isolated, spiritually hopeless. And from these comments, the conversation began with a passionate unfolding of poverty in Texas.
Everyone needs to be educated about the realities of the cycle of poverty in the lives of millions of men, women, and children right here in our neighborhoods proclaimed the presenter. “The statistics of someone living below the poverty line is based on data drawn from the 1960’s!” we were told. And with more and more information, our eyes, ears and hearts were opened.
As I listened to people in the audience, I could hear the tired voices of people who are responding to the social needs in our city. There is so much to do and so few hours in each day to do all of it! I could hear the longing of people to experience what Eremos provides—a moment to step back from the busyness of life to encounter the Source of life which empowers them to live and love others more fully.
I became excited about the need our upcoming weekend workshop with Andrew Harvey on Sacred Activism will address. Sacred Activism is a call to integrate the grounding of action in contemplation and of expanding contemplation to become active in our world.
Without that integration, action can become burn-out and contemplation has the potential to become simply naval gazing.
My hope is for each of us to become more educated on the needs of people struggling in our communities and help where we can. And, may each of us open to the support for our lives that the wisdom of Andrew Harvey offers. What an amazing circle of contemplation and action, of hope and love these opportunities can provide.