A few weeks ago, Jen and Jare were teling us about how their family celebrates the Sabbath on Saturdays. It’s a day of rest, a day when they can put aside their ringing cell phones and the demands of their job and focus on celebrating God, family, friends, and the outdoors.
As a servant team, we started talking and decided to try having our own Sabbath, as well. Every Saturday morning Tina and Megan hop on a bus and come over to the house where Margi and I are staying. We eat breakfast together and then march up to the huge, sunny terrace that is on the roof of our house. We then spend the next hour or two crafting our own time of worship–none of which we planned out beforehand. Tina brings her guitar and we sing, we read Scripture, we share intriguing passages from books we are reading, we pray, we take communion–this time of Spiritual refreshment has become a must-have in our micro community.
Last week during Sabbath, Megan picked up her Bible and started reading Psalm 9, about how God hears the cry of the poor and afflicted. While she was reading it, the verses surprised me how much they resonated. I felt like I could relate to the needy and afflicted for the first time in my life–not only because I know a lot of needy and afflicted people here, but because by knowing them I realize that I myself am needy and afflicted. Give me a second to explain.
I feel like this is a message that I’ve heard a lot over the last few years, but hasn’t clicked until just now. Maybe when the Bible talks about the poor, it doesn’t necessarily mean poor in terms of economic status. Maybe God means people who recognize their brokeness, their desperate needs that we cannot fill for ourselves. I think that, often, it’s by hanging out with the economically poor that we are forced to face our own brokeness. The rich are really good at putting up fronts and walls to conceal their needs and their brokeness. The orphans, poor, widows, sick–not so much. Their needs are a reality that they live with; it’s a huge part of their identity (according to the world), and because of this they can’t just shove them under the rug.
I think that by hanging out with the poor, our own brokeness starts to creep out from under the rug (if we are honest with ourselves). And I think that is kind of a good thing. God blesses the poor, the broken, the meek. He blesses them because they need his blessing!
I know that I never faced my own brokeness or really understood my own needyness until I came here and began befriending the people who live on the street and in the slums. Because of them I’ve been able to see my own brokeness, and I’ve definitely been changed because of it. This is a pretty revolutionary concept–letting the poor change our lives by acting as mirrors through which we see ourselves. I like it.
And that is one of the many new discoveries I have made due to Saturday Sabbaths.