My friend Allison is writing for 31 days. So I read this morning, and thought, Isn’t that nice for her? That’ll be fun to read.
Then I realized that I needed to get on the train.
So for the month of October, I’m linking up for 5 minutes of free writing. 31 days. 5 minutes only. 1 word prompt.
Today’s word: move.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
I don’t think James picked material poverty for his example by accident. I think his simile was designed to show the exact way faith moves, towards the lost, least, broken, left out, beaten down. Trust gets proven by movement.
I am usually scared to move this direction. It is less safe. Less secure. And not because the people I am moving towards are unsafe. In the moment, it almost feels like the opposite–I don’t feel confident that I can engage another person with a different story well. What if I stick my foot in my mouth? What if I insult them? What if my privilege shows stronger than my love?
A couple weeks ago, I moved. It was the smallest movement ever, but it was a move. I moved from my table at Starbucks to the register. I bought a gift card. I wrote a note on the receipt. I left if on the arm of her chair. She was trying to catch a bit of sleep in the corner, as was her sweet dog. She wore too many layers for the warm fall day. Her shoes seemed tired of carrying her.
My gift may have insulted her; she might not have needed any help at all. I don’t know her story and I may have grossly overstepped in guessing that it included some pain, some hardship and some material need.
But then again, we have have pain, and hardship, and need, no matter how much money we have. So I guess it’s better to move than not.