On being a radical

For some of us sixties folks being radical was a badge to wear. It meant being anti-establishment, which evolved into being anti anything from the previous generation. Mind you, there was some good to it, but it wasn’t all good.

For many, including myself, it meant opposing a war that we had no stake in. If if the outcome was of no interest to you, why would you risk your life for it? The radical movement also tried to shine a light on other things, which contributed to cleaner air and water. The radical movement also needs to take responsibility for helping to create the drug culture that is crippling families and killing children today. There you have a brief description of the good and bad of the radicalism born in the 1960’s.

Widening the topic from hippiedom, we can consider radicals throughout history. Martin Luther, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela. Those are the famous ones, the radicals that encouraged us all to change, to do better and be better.

Mother Teresa is another radical worthy of our admiration. Alongside her sacrifice and hard work, she was wise. Wise enough to teach this to me.

We cannot do great things. We can only do little things with great love.”

I like that, it encourages me. As much as I would like to do great things, I can accept that little things offered with love are a meaningful sacrifice to my savior and to those in need. I can apply that. I can apply Jesus reminder that we serve him by serving others, and we serve the least of these by falling to our knees in service to those who the world says are beneath us.

The Good Samaritan Shelter allows me to serve in that way. It allows me, and many others, to let that old radical heart come out and believe that a difference can be made and I can be a tiny part of it. To give up a few bucks to share with others that I would have otherwise used to treat myself to a bauble. To tell my friends that I can’t golf on Saturday because I am fixing faucets at a shelter.

They are not great things, but they are loving things. Good Samaritan Shelter gets its life from these small things, given by many.

Just as Jesus was a radical for washing feet and hanging out with sinners, I dream of radicalizing the world with the loving act of giving ourselves away to others, without judgment or pretense. Just doing small things with loveĀ and from a place of gratitude. Poverty can only exist if we allow it; judgment is the wall, love is the door. Love shouldn’t seem so radical.

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