Is there a place that can simultaneously be a place of hope and despair? Are there people who in the same breath can validate how far we've come and yet remind us how far we have to go?
Yes. That place and those people are in Selma Alabama. On this "pilgrimage" we have so far spent a few days connecting with poverty in Birmingham and now a few days in Selma. We had great variance in the churches (and people) who we pursued to help us understand the connections between faith and money in those not like us.
We experienced radical hospitality at West Village Church of the Nazarene. Brown's Chapel AME connected us with our own history and the Bible. Church Street United Methodist shared great hope in new programs. Selma Community Church challenged us with the most recital inclusively we saw in Selma. Through our walking, talking, and praying I've seen a side of Alabama that you'd miss unless you knew where to look.
Selma felt like the kind of place people can't let go of and yet infuriates them with its grasp on their lives. Money is like that sometimes. Honesty about money and faith recognizes both our struggles to master it and defend ourselves against it. Here's hoping I can be faithful with what I've been given.
I'll talk more about this trip later but for now we are on our way to sand mountain. There is more to the story of faith in money for Alabama to teach us.