just finished reading a chapter in shane claiborne’s latest ‘Follow Me To Freedom’ – leading and following as an ordinary radical and just so encouraged and challenged by some of the stories he shares of how some people he knows get creative with their talent or vocational training and end up changing or shaping a neighbourhood – i remember one story from ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ where he spoke of some people who had a water bottling company in the States and used the profits to dig wells across Africa (so America’s greed feeding Africa’s need)

‘I’ve got friends who are teaching kids to do sound design so that they can create their own hip-hop. We’ve got friends that used to develop fancy condos and are now making affordable housing out of recycled cargo containers like the ones on freight trains – crazy, creative ideas. Some other friends of mine started a fair-trade T-shirt company where they rescue women out of the sex trafficking in Calcutta to make the shirts.

Many of the folks in these examples used to run their own businesses just to make profits for themselves, but every single one of them says they have never looked back. They are more alive and full of joy than ever before. Deep down, all of us know the joy of giving, and that we were made to care for others. Even the drug dealers in my neighbourhood, while they are still making some terrible choices, often surprise me by bringing one of the elderly women a rose on her birthday or buying all the kids ice-cream. These are the places where Jesus seems to point out the glaring contradictions, like when He said to the religious elite who were looking down on others, “The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you.” [Matthew 21.32] We are made to love and be loved….

One congregation we are connected to in the Philly suburbs now has a Vocation and Imagination evening every month where folks share creative ways they are using their gifts and redefining their careers in light of God’s kingdom and the needs around us.’

From the chapter ‘Something Bigger (Seeing That This Is Not Just About Us)’ [Follow me to Freedom – shane claiborne and john m perkins)

Another story from ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ was about a masseuse who would offer a morning a week or something to give free foot massages to the prostitutes in the area…

the question we should all maybe be faced with is, am i using what i have for me or am i using it for we?