My recent experience with my young friend at my temp job in Norristown has gotten me thinking about what it means to be privileged. "Being able to do what you really feel called to do in life," she told me, "Is a privilege and not a right."
|Kugel Ball in Railroad Plaza|
|Evening at the Petit Marche|
The other one is spending my nights in a homeless shelter last winter. What an honor to get to know these men who came to us seeking a warm place to sleep. What courage they had. What a privilege to see volunteers from the congregation and community have their eyes opened and to begin building relationships with people who before this experience were just "those people," un-named others who we could just throw our money at and who we didn't really need to care about. What an honor to be summoned to the hospital bed of a sick, dying, drug-addicted man who had spent his life on the streets, and for whom those volunteers and the other guests at the shelter had become his only family. What a gift, to be called to give your life in service to others... Those nights I was truly in the presence of God, and walking on holy ground.
Many of the things that this world values, and that many of the people in my church value, do not make my list. Trinity is a very privileged place, and yet it does not make my list. Perhaps my idea of what it means to be privileged is messed up. I feel privileged to have been welcomed into the midst of the outcasts, the poor, the forgotten. I feel honored to have known them by name, to have met them on their terms, to have shown them the light of Christ. If this isn't true privilege, then I don't know what is.