i was taking a leisurely walk across campus this afternoon listening to Ben Folds on my mini pink iPod. the song "Jesusland" came on, and I'd heard it a million times before, but it really hit home this time.
the song is about wealthy Christians basically. comfortable Christians who seemingly could care less about those less fortunate just down the street from their own home. some of his statements are generalized, however, the setting he describes in his lyrics doesn't appear to be too far off mark:
"take a walk/out the gate you go and never stop/past all the stores and wig shops/quarter in a cup for every block/and watch the buildings grow/smaller as you go...
"down the tracks...
"beautiful Mcmansions on a hill/that over look a highway/with riverboat casinos and you still/have yet to see a soul...
the music video features a ridiculous looking televangelist selling Miracle Water. "God wants U to live the GOOD life!" it also shows a serious difference in social class. Dozens of solemn faces are presented and they all appear to be hurting. in need of a miracle. there is one scene that truly breaks my heart. at the 2:38 mark, there is a woman dejectedly sitting on her bed and she has the wacko televangelist on behind her...and she never once looks at the screen. it shows her for about 10 seconds and she never glances at the screen. there is a man advertising "guaranteed miracles" in the name of God no more than 4 feet away from her, and she could care less.
granted this is an extreme and exaggerated (sort of) example, but what love are Christians truly bestowning upon the hurting? what picture do Christians paint to the masses about love? the similar Miracle Waters out there today may or may not be legit, but that's not the point. the point is that when push comes to shove, and the desperate and hurting need a place to go, does the church make their list of options?
i feel like sometimes Christians want to give someone a bible and then sit back and hope it works, or Christians tell someone that it will be okay and then hope they're right. is that compassion? is that love? the lady in her room on her bed. what does she need? she certainly doesn't need someone to tell her everything will be fine. she need someone to show her.
Christians should be in their communities and in the inner cities just....loving. just talking to someone, showing that they care and showing that Jesus is someone who loves. Jesus isn't someone who sits in his house and wishes them well. he goes to them and loves on them personally. that's what Christians need to be doing.
Ben Folds and i think so at least.