Peg your jeans, People. Pull on your leather jacket, cuff your cigarettes, and start snapping – The gangs of New York have got nothing on the turf war escalating in my neck of the rain forest.
It started with a text.
The message was from another missionary who works in the same little ghetto I visit on Tuesdays. He thought it would be better if we asked his permission before heading out there again, “out of respect for his ministry and his authority”.
And I thought that was super weird. …Since, ya know, I’ve been going out there for two and a half years without his permission… oh, and I’m not part of his ministry… and, also?, because, the last time I checked, nobody calls “dibs” on loving poor kids.
But, apparently, I’m wrong. Apparently, these are his poor kids. And he wants us to back off.
I know this because the next text he sent said that he was “concerned” about doing “too much ministry” for these desolate children. And, again, we got a “shame on you for not respecting me” side note.
Then he sucker punched us on Facebook, where he put something in his status about how we should take our pretty blue eyes, and our U.S. dollars, and our ideas about ministry and GO HOME. Which garnered a silent round of “like” applause from his dumb friends, and forced me to make up, like, 8 new swear words.
Our only response to his bizarre request of sovereignty over these impoverished people has been to keep showing up. To keep arriving on Tuesdays, like always.
Turns out, he’s not really cool with that.
But it’s not his fault that he doesn’t know me very well, and, therefore, couldn’t possibly know that I don’t play in to political Church bullshit. He doesn’t know that I don’t care if you’re the Pope – I don’t need your permission to Love. And he doesn’t understand enough about me to know that I don’t give a rat’s ass about “ministry”. I go to the Precario not out of duty, but out of desperate Hope for the future of these children.
I’m not easily intimidated. And I will never stop Loving these kids.
You want a turf war?!
*snap… snap… snap… snap*
You got it.
But be warned.
Love is a weapon. And I win wars with it all the time.
But, seriously? Missionaries fighting over poor kids? Tell me you see how messed up that is. Tell me you know, deep down inside, how ridiculous it is. Tell me, please-oh-please, tell me, that this is all a bad joke and that you know that there’s no such thing as too much Jesus… Tell me we’re on the same team, fighting for the same side – tell me we can work together to bring Faith, Hope and Love to the least of these…
Tell me this is not a competition.
Tell me we are the Church.
Then, let’s act like it’s true.