To be honest I think I have a curtain amount of experience in the marginalized category. Both when I went to school and when I went to Church I felt slightly on the outside of almost all the social groups. There were many times where I just hung out by myself in the library or in the art room at school. When I went to Church I usually sat by myself having very little interaction with others.
I personally did these things on purpose because I did not really want to be part of the “in crowd”. I have found that being part of the “majority” means thinking a curtain way. That “way”, being the way everyone else thinks. In my personal experiences the “in” and “out” crowd is created based on who is able or willing to adapt to others.
It is good to be able to adapt to others up to a curtain point. However, in my experience I have found being part of the “in crowd” usually means sacrificing many of my own principles and visions. I think with our society in general we marginalize those who do not think or act the way we do.
At school I found people marginalizing me because I did not think the way my fellow teachers and classmates thought. In Church I found myself marginalized because I pushed others to think of things in a different way then they were used to. We as a society usually throw out those who do not go along with the majority of the crowd. The marginalized consists of those who dare to think in different ways then the norm or those who have pushed us to go out of our comfort zone.
Naturally we want to be comfortable while believing that we are intelligent and our way of thinking is the best way of thinking. When someone comes with a different way of seeing things, he or she is frequently rejected. This is one of the greatest problems with the Church. We the Church have tradition. We have a specific interpretation of scripture. We label the interpretation of scripture as “ the infallible word of God”. When others question and deny our interpretation of God we quickly reject them thus marginalizing them.
The marginalized don’t just consists of the rebellious visionaries however, you can also apply it to the unintentional drug addicts, starving, and homeless of the world. They are all marginalized because they unintentionally push us to get out of our comfort zones. It is much easier to walk past the homeless then to try to find them shelter. It is much easier to close your eyes to the starving then to find them something to eat. It is much easier to shut the drug addicts in their room then to find a way to help them.
The problem with marginalizing is that there is no growth.
If we do not care about the hungry, the drug addicts, or the homeless, there will be no change. If we do not listen to those who think differently from ourselves, there will be no change. Change only comes when we open our eyes to the marginalized. There is a lot we can learn from them and there is a lot we can do for them but first we need to be able to acknowledge them.
We as God’s people should take a lesson from His son. Jesus was not the common thinker of his day. Jesus came to us with ideas that were unheard of. He told us to forgive rather then punish. He told us to love rather then hate. Jesus opened up His Kingdom to those we thought were most unworthy of it. Jesus was the healer of the sick and the servant of the homeless. Jesus came to this earth and saw through the eyes of the marginalized. He was part of the marginalized. We as His followers need to be willing to be seen in those same circumstances. We need to be willing to see the world through eyes of Jesus, where all are equal and worthy of our attention and love.
George at the Love Revolution – The Hierarchy of Dirt
Arthur Stewart – The Bank
Sonnie Swenston – Seeing through the Eyes of the Marginalized
Wendy McCaig – An Empty Chair at the Debate
Ellen Haroutunian – Reading the Bible from the Margins
Christine Sine – Seeing through the Eyes of the Marginalized
Alan Knox – Naming the Marginalized
Margaret Boehlman – Just Out of Sight
Liz Dyer – Step Away from the Keyhole
John O’Keefe – Viewing the World in Different Ways
Steve Hayes – Ministry to Refugees–Synchroblog on Marginalised People
Andries Louw – The South African Squatter Problem
Drew Tatusko – Invisible Margins of a White Male Body
K.W. Leslie – Who’s the Man? We Christians Are