Whether we call it social justice, God’s work, or something else, there are people on the left, right, and everywhere in-between working hard to study and solve the ills that infect our society, elevate humanity, fight injustice, and help those in need. These individuals often receive little or no public recognition. But there are also many who may be in the spotlight but, whether they realize it or not, are, at best, just in the way. Whether we are talking about traditional religions or their new secular substitutes, if you want to find the people who are making our world a more just place, don’t look in the spotlight. Look in the shadows.
My 42 years of life can be divided roughly into two periods. The first began with my birth in West Africa to Christian missionary parents. Though my family was forced to leave Africa when my siblings and I became deathly ill with malaria, our missionary-style life continued in Missouri’s Ozark region. My father pastored small churches and ended his career in ministry as a hospital chaplain, retiring only when the neurodegenerative disease that ultimately took his life rendered him unable to perform his duties.
Addition - Guidance - Comfort - Congregants - Hospital
In addition to providing spiritual guidance and comfort to congregants, hospital patients and grieving families, my father conducted a separate business as the owner of rental houses. This not only helped my dad support our large family, it also provided him a way to informally share the teachings of Christ through his day-to-day actions. He would allow renters to pay what they could, when they could, even if they fell months behind on their payments. He would drive renters who didn’t have their own transportation to doctor’s appointments, court dates and the grocery store. He would lend them tools, and sometimes money. His houses were...
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