I don’t know if religious people practice their religion in real tents anymore, but I do know that modern day tents are called churches. For some reason, maybe just for the comfort of humanity, we built these wood and stone edifices to our God. I don’t believe that putting God in a building is what He wants of us. If we take the Love and Grace of God into the world, we are serving our fellow man as God wishes.
I don’t want to enclose God in a building. I want to feel God in the freedom of fresh air, the rising of the sun, and the chill of a rainy morning in a forest. I find God awaiting me there. It is in the open that I hear God’s message. It is here that I see that God gave us this planet Earth for the benefit of all humanity. God’s gift is to be shared by all of His creation.
When I look at the people who live in the southern half of this planet, I see unimaginable poverty, people living not just day by day, but minute by minute. Two thirds of these people are below poverty standards, even in these poorer countries. The people live in conditions that would shock people in the northern hemisphere. We cannot look at the condition of these people and say we follow the light of Jesus.
We cannot abandon these people; nor can we leave the lives of these people to suffer under governments that are not wealthy enough to lift these people from their physical and psychological destinies. This must be a joint effort of the wealthier northern-hemisphere countries; one country cannot do this alone.
We are free, brothers and sisters to go our own way, or to look and see those suffering in poverty and help lift them. Everything God gives us is to be shared; only greed and ego get in the way. Our gifts are meant to be shared; by sharing, we empty ourselves of the past and are ready to fill our hearts with the newness of tomorrow. This is the liberating effect of God’s presence.
Without God we do not have anything to offer to ourselves or to others. What we do have is the goodness of our hearts and the graciousness of our gifts to be shared. That is our gift; that is our inner peace. That is what we learn in our tent meetings.
© Russell Kendall Carter