In election years, it would be easy to believe that Christianity is all about making sure the right guy gets into office, and debates over who, exactly, that "right guy" is could easily come to blows. Even among people who consider themselves Christian.
So it's good to be reminded that there's a whole lot more (and a whole lot that's more important!) to our faith, as I was when I read this article yesterday:
Pastor plans Appalachian outreach with solar panels
Go read the article. It's a great story about how an engineer and a minister in Appalachia have teamed up to improve the lives of the poor by reducing their bills for heat and electricity.
Families who receive solar panels pay for them with two currencies: money and time.
One home can cost between $7,000 to $10,000 to outfit, with trees to clear and supplies to buy. Families pay for the panels with some of the savings they start to see on their electric bills each month. The money goes into a general community fund that finances more solar panels on more homes.
"Once 10 families start paying back, there's enough for Family Eleven," said Mr. Seaman. [...]
In addition to those upfront expenses, outfitting a home also takes manpower; Mr. Seaman calls it Philippi's version of Amish barn building.
To pay back their neighbors for their time, families must volunteer by either installing solar panels somewhere else or putting in community time at the church.
Mr. Prusa printed "dollar bills" that are exchanged as currency for the volunteer hours.
The panels pay for themselves in about ten years.
There are a lot of things in this story that could be considered political landmines. Things like alternative energy (in the heart of coal country!) and microfinancing. But the guys in charge made the choice to just get it done and help the poor anyway. In the name of Christ.
You know. Like he asked us to.
Dear God, help give me the strength to ignore the division and the controversies and just get it done.