As I’ve been writing these blogs and reflecting on our work in the neighborhood, I feel it is very important to clarify how our beliefs fit into our work and also how our faith impacts our friendships with others.
For me, my Christian spirituality is central to almost everything I do. Over the years it has helped me to forgive others and myself for mistakes, it has helped me accept myself with all my foibles, it has helped me grow in caring for others, and it has given me a sense of purpose. Most importantly, it has helped me to experience God’s love for me, and to realize that this gift of love is for everyone.
My Christian spirituality helps me see my neighbors and my neighborhood as beautiful and valuable people--even if the world sometimes tells us otherwise.
And here is the important catch. Our neighbors don’t have to have the same beliefs. My work with SoCe Life, and our process of doing interviews are not secretly aimed at tricking people into being Christians. Our work is not a decoy to draw people in. Because of this, we don’t have a hidden agenda of converting people to embrace our beliefs. Now, if our experiences and our beliefs are appealing and helpful to people that we get to know, we are definitely happy to talk about that, but if they aren’t interested, that is alright too. We’re just thankful to be their neighbors.