Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wrestling . . .

with decisions.

Finished the sermon early (2am) this morning . . .

The LORD God has told us what is right and what He demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly walk with your God."
Micah 6:8

As I have wrestled with this text I find myself wrestling with a situation in my own life . . . seeking what God would have me do. It is hard . . . to know what is right . . . what is pleasing to God. What, in the long run, will benefit the purpose of God in this community the most.

The dilemma . . . I serve and am an officer on a Board of Directors of a non-profit. I am one of the younger members . . . we, the younger members, see the potential for good that this agency has to make a difference in the economic and life-circumstances of the "least of these" in our community. The problem is that there are three members who have been on the board for, at a minimal of, two decades (yes, two decades) who see no need for change.

They do not see that they have created a "welfare state" for both the agency staff and for the clients . . . rather than empowering folks to reach for their God-given potential in life, we have allowed them to stay where they are . . . increasing salaries (profit-sharing, too boot) fro the employees and increasing the amounts of subsidies that we give clients for paying bills. We do not encourage folks to take advantage of programs that would help them become self-sufficient.

After several months we decided (on a split vote . . . young vs. old) to hire an Executive Director to help move the agency forward. She started June 1 . . . at a called Board Meeting Tuesday "the olds" wanted to fire her. They think she is causing problems . . . in actually she is trying to maintain the "rules" that the Board set up . . . the problems are being caused as rules are now being applied equally to all employees regardless of race.

The new Executive Director is a young African-American woman, extremely bright and talented with a deep love for this community and the downtrodden and a vision of how we can move to offering a "hand up" instead of a "hand out." The Board, with one exception, is lily white and there is even talk of "kicking the one African-American" off the board as his daughter works for the agency . . . did no one know this when he was nominated and elected to serve?

It isn't so much that they want to fire her . . . it was the racial undertones of the conversation at the last Board meeting . . . the worse of it coming from a minister and another minister's wife . . . both people who I had a great deal of respect for until that moment.

How do I remain faithful to God's call through Micah?

Sermons are to convict us of how we are to live as Christ-followers . . . as it is preached tomorrow I pray God's Spirit will speak to me in this particular circumstance and that the Holy Spirit will strenghten me to walk the path God calls me to walk

In His service,


1 comment:

St. Casserole said...

Lydia, thank you for your very kind comment on my blog.
Call me and let's visit.