Tuesday, October 11, 2011


[This post is part of a group synchroblog. This month the bloggers will explore the idea of downward mobility and other themes in Kathy Escobar’s book, Down We Go.  Check out the awesome bloggers in the links below!  I will add more to the list as they are posted.]

I had plenty of things that got stirred up in me while reading Kathy Escobar's "Down we Go".  I don't think one post would suffice to really list all those things.  I one time told Kathy that I had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with her book.  I think it's because I love the ideas, but I also have realized that I am extremely limited in my ability to help with those she defines as marginalized.  I have the skills and all kinds of dreams that I believe would help heal the sick and free people from chronic pain.  But, no open doors quite yet.  However, I honestly believe I work with the marginalized every day(mostly geriatric population)...and, at times, I believe I have fallen into that category.  I think we all have been marginalized in some way, shape or form at some time in our lives.

I do know that I was especially stirred with the "Pursuing Justice" chapter...primarily the time and loneliness factors.  It truly does take time to sit down and be with someone in relationship and truly listen before we can understand someone's story, their needs and exactly how they are being oppressed by those around them(or as Kathy would say, people "powering up" on us).  She mentions sacrifice of time in that chapter and I too believe that is huge.  Too often that is something that no one wants to give, let alone be in relationship with someone.  Relationships during horrible seasons seem to be time spent with those we pay...as Kathy mentions, it's people like your therapist, doctor, lawyer, psychologist, etc.  Spending time with someone is the only way we see the truth in someone's heart.  And, when we know the truth...often standing up for that gets lonely too...

So, if you haven't seen the movie Flightplan, you may not know what I'm trying to get at here regarding being alone in pursuit of the truth.  I think maybe Flightplan stirred me the same way The Great Debaters stirred Kathy.  She mentions the main character Samantha struggling and having courage to keep standing up for what is right despite the loneliness and difficulties(p.187).  Different movies, but the same in standing up for what is right.  Often when we're seeing the truth and standing up for it sometimes it will be lonely and even those around us may not believe!  p.s.-if you haven't seen the movie and don't want it ruined, stop reading now and do not watch the below clip...watch the movie and then finish reading/watching! ;-)

But, if you've seen the movie, you know that Kyle Pratt(Jodi Foster) is on a flight with her daughter, Julia.  They are heading home after Kyle's husband is killed falling off of a roof.  What isn't known early on is Kyle is being sabotaged.  In short, her husband was actually pushed off of the roof and now, the morgue director, one flight attendant and a federal marshal have kidnapped her daughter and have made up a story to make it look like Kyle is delusional and that her daughter was killed too.

Besides the movie just being really intense and good, it really does show how sometimes a person can be alone in fighting for what they know is the truth.  Before the ending, Kyle dealt with pretty much the whole plane thinking she was crazy!  The whole time, Kyle knows in her heart what the truth is.  Even a counselor on the plane that tries to talk to Kyle doesn't believe her...and the worst, the captain doesn't believe her! 

Just imagine having something so deep in your heart that you know is the truth and the people around you, on the same flight...headed to the same destination won't believe you and help you!  Honestly, I think that happens amongst believers more often than we like to admit.  Our pride gets in the way, we go with the flow, the cultural trends, or even as Kathy would say, the status quo.  What if one person, just took the time to listen, believe in you and not be afraid to take a stand with you?!

The last clip is the best(see below)!!!  A little longer(~5'), but SO WORTH watching!!  It is the end of the movie, but is where the truth is revealed!  Kyle does find Julia and as she comes walking away from the plane holding her, everyone is shocked.  And, the amazing thing to me is the only one to approach her and apologize...the captain.  Again, isn't that how it sometimes goes?  We are sometimes owed apologies from those around us and no one ever has the courage and humility to do that!  Only our "Captain" knows and comes to our side!

Okay, off my Flightplan, time and loneliness soap box.  But, it is what I believe has been stirred in my heart lately.  Whether Jesus is leading me "down" to spend time with the oppressed and lonely, I don't know.  I certainly can relate in some form or another.  So, I'm not sure it's downward for me.  I think it's looking at people from every walks of life and realizing no one is better/worse than me and I don't believe I go down or bow to anyone else's level to go and help them.  I think I just be with those that God has placed right front of me.  Maybe I'm reading/understanding "downward mobility" wrong.  I think maybe it's because I've been blessed by so many people that "in the world" may have lower financial status than me, but I believe that maybe "in the Kingdom" they are actually above me?!!  I don't have downward thoughts or actions about anyone...that's the way it should be.  So, honestly, it seems prideful if I were think about "going down" to someone else's level.  If anything, I am already below them. The Kingdom is everywhere and in so many hearts that see the truth.  We just may end up being alone when we stand up for that truth!  But, rest assured that in the end, the truth will be revealed.

(clip no longer on youtube :-( )

Links to other synchrobloggers:

Jeremy Myers - Till He Comes - Seeking the Next Demotion
Glenn Hager - Breathe - Pretty People
David Derbyshire - CharisMissional - Reaching the Innner City
Liz Dyer - Grace Rules - A Beautiful Mess
Christine Sine - Godspace - No Failure in the Kingdom of God
Leah Sophia - desert spirit's fire - down we go
Kathy Escobar - the carnival in my head - we may look like losers re-dux
Anthony Ehrhardt - Ant Writes - Slumming It For Jesus
Sonja Andrews - Calacirian - Diversion and Distraction
Marta Layton - Fidesquaerens - Down The Up Staircase
Wendy McCAIG - Wendy McCAIG - A Material Girl
Alan Knox - the assembling of the church - How low can you go?
Leah Randall - Journal from Zarephath - Jacked-Up
Leah Randall - Rantings of a Protestant Heretic - How Low Can We Go
Maria Kettleson Anderson - The Real Journey - Down
Hugh Hollowel - Hugh's Views - Downward


  1. You wrote: " I think it's looking at people from every walks of life and realizing no one is better/worse than me and I don't believe I go down or bow to anyone else's level to go and help them."

    WOW. When I read that, I felt like I got punched in the stomach. Going down to help others with a feeling of superiority is not helpful to anybody. Thank you for pointing this out. I am very convicted right now...

  2. I agree with Jeremy. That's a strong statement, and I also believe it is at the heart of humility.


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  4. Wow, its great to hear from a person the author was speaking about! You said "I believe I have fallen into that category. I think we all have been marginalized in some way, shape or form at some time in our lives."

    I think I'm marginalized now! I think if you're s Christian you're marginalized by default as a whacky peculiar person anyway.

    Thanks for a great post!

  5. thanks, ant! yes, I think I fall into the "whacky peculiar person" category quite often! ha! :-)

  6. Very deep and authentic, Tammy. I love the way you put me in touch with the vulnerable inner thoughts Father is stirring in you. He does and will use simple things like films we watch, books we read, and the things others say to touch the things in us He knows need to be touched. For me, a dozen years ago, He used the words of two young men incarcerated in a youth correctional facility here in NC, featured in an ABC 20/20 story. The next thing I knew I was walking into a medium security prison on Wednesday nights to teach the Bible to 25 men...a woman, alone, learning about grace from convicted felons...some of them lifers. Subsequently, my husband was called to seven years in the same ministry. We learned not to write off anyone Jesus died for, and that the marginalized and the "unclean" often have a better handle on "consequences", "forgiveness" and "grace" than the religiously "clean".

  7. Wow, thanks for reading and sharing, Leah. I can't imagine the powerful stories you hear and the opportunities you get to see their hearts. We do tend to write-off people in all kinds of ways and then "imprison" them with no room for forgiveness and grace. Sometimes I like to think about it this way: Jesus kept hanging out with people who probably could've and should've been acting a different way when He was with them, but that didn't matter to Jesus. He saw their hearts, knew their pain and just met them where they were at. True humility by our Savior. Something I need to work on daily. Thanks again, Leah. God bless!

  8. Tammy - As I read your post I remembered why I got so turned off to a lot of the "ministry" that I was involved in through the church for so many years. Ministry was treated like a task or something on a checklist or a job - but ministry should happen in our everyday life with people that we can take the time to be with, get to know and build a relationship with.

  9. Thanks, Liz. I agree that we all have a ministry everyday. However, those in "official ministry" working in the church, etc. can sometimes deal with more emotional & spiritual warfare than most on a daily basis...so, I can see where they can get maybe "burned out" and it becomes a "job". But, that is where prayerfully they can find a balance and somehow schedule "recharge" time or take a sabbatical. I just think it's dangerous to get out of balance for any of us...then, we are not effective in our ministry and, actually we can do more harm than good. I once heard a pastor say, "if you're spending more time in your ministry than you are with God, you're headed for trouble". I know I get a little grumpy without my contemplative time with Him and His Word! ;-)