Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Better Way to Lose Sleep

   Charles Ramsey is a hero. He is also very funny. I am laughing because he speaks the truth in a way that we rarely hear from people pushed into the light of national attention. Charles speaks the truth. In the days after he rescued Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, held captive for 10 years in a Cleveland, Ohio home, he talked about having trouble getting to sleep. It wasn't because of all the excitement that followed his knocking down a neighbor's door, freeing three women and a girl who police say were held hostage for years. Instead, Ramsey told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, it was about knowing he had lived for a year near the captive women on the city's West Side.

"Up until yesterday the only thing that kept me from losing sleep was the lack of money," the restaurant dishwasher told Anderson Cooper on CNN.

After rescuing these women from across the street, he was now losing sleep for an even larger purpose. What he had seen and done had changed his vision. [You can read the story on CNN here]

   I am not suggesting we should lose sleep. In fact, most people I know need to get more sleep. Americans don't sleep enough, and television, smart phones, and worries contribute to that unsettling trend. But if losing sleep is a phrase we use to describe what we give our attention to and what we yearn to have solved, then Charles Ramsey has found a better way to lose sleep. I have seen it happen time and again. When a person has their eyes open to the real needs of others around them - Jesus calls these others our neighbors - then their attention is forever changed. The way we see the world is different, like the Samaritan in Luke 10.
   I've been sitting and learning from Epworth folks for a project for school about the dreams of our leaders. One person told me that they were now dreaming about the future of the church more than ever because of the new things they had seen and were doing. This is so true. What we see is supposed to change what we dream about. 
   I am dreaming for Epworth because I have seen what happens here. I'm dreaming of a future so bright we cannot make out all of the details, just yet. I don't know exactly what is to come, but I pray you will join me in dreaming and doing to make great things happen. Grace and Peace, Scott

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