By Christy Carr Betz, Director of the Giving Grace program of REMERGE.
The community of REMERGE has blessed my life so much. When I first started my journey to joining my life with those on the margins I was very timid at even interacting with people that have now become my friends. I would drive to the city and would be frightened at the thought of getting out of the car to interact with people that are homeless that now I consider close friends.
I have learned that you can see Christ in any situation, regardless of how destitute or challenging a situation can be. I have learned to first and foremost be a friend and not try to come in and change the situation they are in. Some of my friends don’t want to change that situation and I am finding that this is okay. Many times I don’t want to change my situation. I have realized that the goal is not to change people at all, but to live out the reconciling work of Christ with my friends.
What I enjoy the most is that my friendships with those on the margins are real and pure! There’s no pretense. My friends don’t care what you look like, how much money you have or what kind of car you are driving. These are things that people who have means all pursue. They see through my flaws, and love me for who I am and where I am!
A few weeks ago I had a car problem and my friends that live on the margins responded that they could come help me right away, while my other friends were to busy.
Christ has been so generous to me through my friends on the margins, while I will be having a rough day, a friend that doesn’t have the many conveniences and comforts that I have will call me with their troubles and this will put things into perspective. Through these relationships I have learned so many lessons and learned to see life in a different light. When I become consumed with the culture of having more and better stuff, the blessing of sharing life with my friends on the margins pulls me back to what really matters, it’s relationships based on Christ.
I truly am a better, more enriched person because I have the honor of joining my life with friends that live on the margins of society. We truly have become family as we share in each other’s joys and struggles. The goal of REMERGE is that we join lives together in Christ where I don’t become like you, you don’t become like me, but something all together new comes together.