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Posted on Friday, November 11, 2011 in News
This month I headed to CCDA (Christian Community Development Association)’s national conference. When I joined the main session with hundreds of others to hear Jim Wallis and Arthur Brooks’ witty banter on goverment v/s church responsibility for compassion. I knew I had found “my people”.
I geeked out listening to leaders challenge us to think more clearly, creatively, and avoid simplistic answers. And really John Perkins? Yeah, not much more to say.
When I caught my breath to realize the conference theme was “innovate” I groaned. (If I hear the words “twitter” or “facebook” at another conference, my head will explode from boredom).
What I didn’t realize was that when I would learn how to make solar panels from a group in West Virginia. New Vision mobilizes people from every age to save money, donate extra power to neighbors, and provide jobs for locals.
I would hear about a community garden that found itself in the middle of a racial divide, home-made bombs from neighbor kids, and the police.
And I realized that the physics of a blue panel or the compost wasn’t the point. The true innovation was the amazing people. The creative crazy people who wouldn’t give up on their fellow humans no matter what. The ones that would see red tape as a runner’s finish line to be broken through. The nameless heroes of my faith that wouldn’t grace a podium, but would extend grace through kindness.
And isn’t the greatest innovation to see a live, breathing human being as uniquely made in the image of a creative God? Wonderfully, mysterious cells, skin, muscle, and soul reflecting back the greatest innovation.