Pearl, Shepherd and I visited with the Occupy Grand Rapids group yesterday morning. It has turned cold and the numbers coming out to occupy have slimmed but this is also part of a process winnowing out who is serious about making changes with how our city is run. When a journey goes past the honeymoon stage that's when you find out what people are really made of. Yesterday we spoke with Danny, Judge and Brooke and found them not only committed to their cause but cheerful and hopeful. Fountain Street Church has come along side the Occupy Grand Rapids movement and given them space to call their own and operate out of. It is out of the wind and rain but still open to plenty of cold fresh air and a good place to meet up.
Being out side and visible is an important part of what gives this movement it's potency. Being outside in a Michigan weather takes determination and grit which is what we found yesterday with our friends pictured here. There is plenty wrong with our current state of affairs not only here in the US but around the world. The lion share of worldly power and wealth has been taken into the hands of a very few leaving the rest of us to struggle harder than ever. (Remember the Hebrew making their bricks with out straw?) It seems like everyone I talk to these days who still has a job are not only doing what they used to do but they are also covering a good share of the work that used to be done by the people who lost their jobs to cut backs. We are working harder with out wage increases watching the prices of everything like gasoline and food just keep going up and up. And lets not forget the market value of our homes has fallen about 40% below what we purchased them for in a bloated housing market so what ever equity we thought we had disappeared into the same mysterious place inhabited by our missing socks we can't find matches for.
Add to these economic frustrations the fact that most people feel like the word democracy does not come close to describe our political system that is not controlled by the people we elect but rather controlled by large corporations and their lobbyist. One begins to ask, does it even matter who I vote for at this point? More and more people feel like they just can't go another day with business as usual in a world like this and they are hitting the streets. They want to do something with tangible results, something basic, make their voice heard, blow a horn and ring a bell. And if that sound foolish to you reread the story of what happened to the great ancient city of Jericho in the book of Hebrews.