by Karen Burton Mains
Financial blowouts can create the kind of community we have forgotten and yet long for in the deepest part of our beings.
I suspect we Christians need to lead the way in breaking up our government dependency. We need to increase our God-given Body of Christ interdependency. We need to explode the myth that unless we have money we can't solve problems. What a deception that is! (My personal mantra learned during these years in God's School of Finance is: We don't need money. we don't need money. We only need Him, the Provider and Sustainer.)
Creativity and ingenuity are our best currencies. So, letâ€™s brainstorm together all the ways we can solve our personal, citywide, regional and national problems We need to develop neighborhood architectures for helping one another; we need to joyfully explore the alternate barter, recycle and trade economies. I do most of my clothes-shopping at Goodwill. I bought a pair of Ralph Lauren pants ($400 online) for $4. I got a great black leather jacket with a furred hood for $30. â€œYou look terrific!â€ said some younger women Iâ€™ve mentored but hadnâ€™t seen for a year. Well, losing 22 of the 30 pounds I gained during our season of financial discontent helped, but letting my hair go white (consequently, $22 for a haircut at the JCPenney Salonâ€”no styling, walking out with my hair wetâ€”instead of $160 for cut, color, styling, blow-dry and tip) not only saves money, it honors the fact that I have achieved these older years. A Daisy Fuentes tunic and Tommy Hilfiger black jeans, $4 apiece from Goodwill, finished the look.
Too bad the concept of community organizer came under such disapprobation in the last election, because God is the original Community Organizer. His platform always includes pulling together a group of unlikely folk who are willing to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to make amazing differences in the world. What a wonderful thingâ€”to create neighborhoods where we actually feel free to borrow sugar, not to mention a car, where we can chat over fences, reinstitute the coffee klatch, tend to those who are feeble, and even know one anotherâ€™s names and what we each do in the world. Together, we can change the environment around us. Together, we can learn that the meaning of the word â€œstrangerâ€ is not â€œthe neighbor I donâ€™t know who lives next door.â€ Six Rules for Weathering Financial Blowouts