Artists have generally been undervalued in mission and even more so in community development. Yet poets, storytellers, writers and painters have historically played an essential role in activism communication of Gods heart for the poor. Our God is a creative God, and by allowing our senses, our imaginations, our minds and bodies to fulfill their God-given potential for creativity, we glorify our Creator. No only this, but God expects us to use these gifts for greater kingdom purposes. An artists work is always informed by her or his experience. So, in order to speak with credibility and insight on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves (prov 31;8), the artist who feels called to communicate Gods heart for the poor must first learn the joys and struggles of the poor by living among them. As one critic once remarked, "You say you care about the poor? Tell me their names."
- Living Mission; The Vision and Voice of New Friars
This is Alex. I spent some time with Alex last year and haven't seen him in a handful of months. I forget exactly what country Alex is from but he has a strong accent. A gentle, kind, little man with a big heart. He would come over for Bible Study on Friday evenings and spent the night a few times and was always considerate and appreciative for anything you did for him. He would come to Celebrate Recovery with some other folks and some of the best times I had with him was driving him and some other guys on the "people mover" driving around town after we were done and he just had this infectious laugh. One interaction I will never forget one day with Alex is when I saw him walk up to my house in dead beat summer and he is sweating and exhausted. In my head I feel frustrated because I wanted to take a nap and didn't want to associate with anyone at the time but noticed how selfish and prideful I was in the moment. Here is a friend of mine that has been walking around town all day with no where to rest and here I am not wanting to deal with him because I was tired... So I let him take a nap on my couch for an hour and I do the same. When it is time to leave I noticed all he had on him was a grocery bag with two Gatorades. Without hesitation he looks at me and offers me one of his Gatorades. I quickly decline but say thank you and send him on his way. After he leaves I just think to myself, I just saw Jesus. Jesus showed himself to me that day. Selflessness. Alex offered me half of what he had. It crushed me. It still crushes me. Jesus loved me through Alex that day. I thank God for him.