Sabbath Meditation: Conspiring Together

We recently shared a meal and conversation with some radical folks in our Nearest Big City. And when I say “radical,” trust me, I mean it. It’s good to have these conversations and be tugged out of your comfort zone every once in awhile.

Will O’Brien, who was passing through the area, was the featured guest of the evening. O’Brien serves as the coordinator of the Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia and is on the editorial board of Conspire, a “quarterly magazine of faith, art, justice, and community.”

That’s a roundabout way of explaining how I got a copy of Conspire into my hands.

Conspire is a pretty crazy little publication, and I recommend it if you’re feeling a little bit crazy yourself. Their tagline is “Plotting Goodness.” (You can view the recent issue on their website here by clicking on the magazine cover.)

Since J & I spent a lot of time in the car recently, trucking it across a few states, I pulled out the issue called “Economy of God: Your Money or Your Life” and  read some of it out loud, including Melanie Hopson’s article, “Mama Is Feeling Lucky.” Hopson wrote about attempting to live on one dollar a day for forty days as “a spiritual experiment.” In the middle of Hopson’s article, I came across a quote attributed to St. Basil the Great that made my chest tighten up.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I couldn’t breathe.

Even when I reread it this morning, it made me kind of slump forward in my chair and go numb, except for that tightness in my chest.

And then I thought, what better way to begin the week, right? So here’s a Sabbath meditation for today.

When someone steals another’s clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money you hoard belongs to the poor.

The bread in your cupboard. The unused coat and shoes in your closet. The money in your bank account.

And Basil the Great lived in the fourth century, folks.

Maybe we should do a little more conspiring together.

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3 comments on “Sabbath Meditation: Conspiring Together

  1. Elizabeth's Dad says:

    Basil had a hard word for us. How could we ever do what he suggests? Maybe just a little at a time.

  2. Stephen says:

    This is a tough plot of goodness to read. It hurts, cuts deep. As a capitalist, I think, but I worked hard for what I have, God gave it to me. Do I really have to give it up? The answer is “Yes”. God gave us all that we have, it truly is His, not ours.

    Recently, we were leaving a big box store and at the corner sat a lady with a sign asking for help. I am usually suspicious of such individuals, but my wonderful wife said we should give her something. It was already too late to stop. So I pulled out and went around the block. I gave K my wallet and let her pull out whatever she felt necessary. I rolled down the window when we came back to her corner and K handed her the money. I love my wife and am glad she is compassionate when I am not.

  3. Elizabeth's Dad says:

    Spouses balance our lives when we let them. :>)

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