Saturday, November 22, 2008

NYWC Session 2

David Crowder Band, Shane Claiborne, Andrew Marin, Tony Campolo

First let me just say that yesterday was the first time I have ever seen Crowder live. It was great! Such energy and passion for what he does...and he is absolutely hysterical. I think my favorite part was when he busted out the keytar and the modified guitar hero-esque guitar. A-Mazing.

Now, I have a confession to make. A lot of my staff, and just a lot of people that I know in general have read Irresistable Revolution and Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. They've talked about it, praised it as a "must read" and seriously contemplated selling all their possessions, and living with the poor and homeless. I have been skeptical of anything that seems like a "fad" book. I was skeptical of books like Velvet Elvis and Blue Like Jazz when they first came out. I don't know, I'm sure there's good stuff, but I kind of like the classics.

After listening to him speak last night though, I had to get his book and see what this is all about...Because he said something that resonated with me 100%, that I have been trying to articulate for 5 years, but haven't really been able to.

He talked about growing up in church, having all the "right" answers, and holding all the "right" beliefs, and all the "right" political opinions. And then he came to a realization:

"When I am faced with a 14 year old girl, pregnant and unmarried, how can I be pro-life without being willing to come alongside this 14 year old girl and help her learn how to become a 14 year old mother?"

That's about as close to a direct quote as I could get....I wanted to stand up and say thank you for putting into words far better than I have ever been able to figure out how to, exactly what has always bothered me. I get frustrated (with this issue specifically for some reason) that we seem to condemn young women and girls who find themselves in this situation....regardless of the choice they make...Make the "Pro-life" decision to keep the baby, and be ostracized and condemned for being pregnant out of wedlock...Make the "Pro-choice" decision to have an abortion, and be ostracized and condemned for having an abortion. These girls are in a no win.

Unless we choose to come alongside them and walk with them into and along a path that doesn't seem to have clear-cut, easy decisions.

I had to go to his late-night talk back session to hear more, and I am glad I did. He talked more about the community he lives in and answered some of the questions I have wondered: How do you just do what you do? What about issues of safety? Do you ever feel like you have been taken advantage of?

It was good stuff. Challenging stuff. And I am still thinking about it. I feel like I have so much more to think about and process. But it's been great so far.

And by the way....I love this city.

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