Posts Tagged ‘CROP Walk’

walk a mile in their shoes

Several weeks back I was at a meeting of campus ministry directors.  One director, who was affiliated with a mainline denomination, mentioned that the CROP Walk to benefit hunger relief was coming up, and invited the other groups to participate.

A director affiliated with a non-denominational, evangelical group started to knit his eyebrows.  I couldn’t tell if he was worried, bewildered, afraid, or what.  He said, “Well, we are participating in a walk too.  It’s to end human trafficking.”

Suddenly the room got tense.   Everyone knitted their eyebrows.   It looked as if the mainline folks would end up walking on one side of town, and the evangelicals on another.  And as far as I know, that’s the way it happened when the walks were held.

Is this what we have come to?  No one will walk together for a good cause?

As a campus minister, on a campus in the Bible Belt, every day I face the fact that Christians can’t agree on worship, interpretation of Scriptures, ordination, and a hundred other things.  And now we can’t agree on a benefit walk?

I wonder if the problem was a simple lack of communication.  Christian leaders in this town don’t communicate with one another, for the most part.  We have a white mainline ministers’ association, a black ministers’ association, and various kinds of evangelical and/or non-denominational gatherings.   A few pastors of the larger churches in town have made some efforts to bridge the divide(s.)

I wonder if it was something deeper and to me, disturbing.  I have trouble describing it, but from what I’ve seen in Greenville and at ECU, concern over social issues actually splits along the same lines as other issues such as worship styles.  It seems there are clusters of issues that appeal to different subgroups of Christians.  This is really over-generalizing, but it seems as though when you attend a certain type of church, then the charities and social issues you will support are already chosen for you.

I’m concerned about human trafficking, but I don’t recall seeing anything recent from our denomination about it.  (Correct me if I’m wrong!)  And does human trafficking trump hunger in terms of something to be concerned about?  It all matters, right?

Could it be that we only care about the things that are brought to our attention by people who are similar to us?  Would we listen to a missionary or volunteer from “the other side?”  Would we listen to someone older, or younger, or who doesn’ speak our lingo?

I wonder what the people benefiting from our various walks and causes would think about us.   I wonder what it would do to our comfortable little subgroups and carefully drawn identities if we really walked a mile in their shoes.