Getting to Know People Right Where They Are

The words from Matthew 22:37-40 that stood out to me as I read it was this is the great and first commandment. Without loving God with all of our heart and all of our soul and with all of our mind, there is no way that we could love our neighbors (or in some cases, ourselves). I can try to with all my human abilities, but without God working through me, there is nothing I can do in my own power. With this in mind, I read this piece on Reconciliation where the writer proposed an interesting question: "Can a gospel that reconciles to God without reconciling people to people be the true gospel of Jesus Christ?" Of course the answer is no, and then he provided practical methods to reconciling people to people.

One method that I thought would be useful during my time at KCB is the felt-need concept. This concept is about "getting to know people right where they are at." This means hearing their story as they tell it and seeing what their concerns, hopes, hurts, and longings are. By doing this, there is a deeper sense of connection that we can make with that person and most importantly it shows our love. It shows that we care about the things that they are concerned about, we care about the things they hope for, we care about the things that are hurting them, and that we care about the things that they long for. I think that as the weeks progress and I spend my time doing community walks, I want to be able to walk down Eucalyptus St. and get to know the neighbors by name and by their stories. I hope to be able to hear their struggles as undocumented workers and see what their greatest fears, hopes, needs, and concerns are. I want to be able to work from the ground up as I eventually become a lawyer or professor so that in my work with helping other undocumented immigrants, there will be a common hurt and a common hope that I could work for. Most importantly, I want to work on my growth with God so that God can do great works in me by His power and not in my own doing because I know that His power will yield far greater effects.