Sweet Girl was down for a nap in her crib, and I found myself with an unexpected pocket of time. (I like to think of naps that way—surprising free time—because naps can be a bit unpredictable. It saves in disappointment or frustration!) I ran through a mental list of things I should do with this gift. I decided to do none of them. Instead, I grabbed the cup of coffee that had long cooled and become my “iced” coffee and sat down on the couch. I opened a magazine from my Alma Mater, Fuller Theological Seminary, and as I sipped my delicious coffee, flavored with Pumpkin Spice creamer (obviously), I read and slowly became refreshed and then challenged by the stories.

One story, one quote actually, leapt from the page. It came from a woman named Pricilla Santos who fights against human trafficking through the Salvation Army: “I learned the way of Jesus is actually to give away your power and privilege…” I paused and allowed myself to feel the weight of those simple and humbling words. Give away your power and privilege—it’s the way of Jesus. Of course, I understood this to be true intellectually. Philippians 2:6-11 describes Jesus doing just that. Jesus, though God, didn’t hold onto his equality with God or wheeled his power to advance himself. He poured his privilege out in order to come to earth, to be with us, and to ultimate die on the cross and rise from the dead three days later. Giving away power and privilege is the Gospel!

I contemplated how I might be doing that in my own life. As a new parent, I definitely feel my privilege shifting. Eric and I can no longer do what we want when we want. There is someone else to consider and to sacrifice for. Though we are at the beginning of our parenting journey, I have no doubt that Sweet Girl will give us ample opportunities to give away power and privilege. This may be a start.

Santos continued in her reflection that the Gospel wasn’t just about giving away power and privilege but “to walk alongside those who are marginalized in society.” It’s easy to forget or overlook the marginalized part of the gospel. At least, it has become all too easy for me, as someone who enjoys a good amount of power and privilege, to overlook it. But a gospel that doesn’t reach everyone, a gospel that doesn’t reach wholly to the people who are the fringe isn’t really the Gospel. Jesus saw, loved, and walked with people who were considered outsiders by the elite of his day. How am I doing that?

To be honest, my answer was a bit skimpy. But instead of becoming legalistic about it and rushing off to join a ministry that might “qualify” as loving the ones on the margins, I want to give myself space to really sit with that question. I don’t want another “to-do”; rather, I want God to show me a different way of being, one that automatically walks with the marginalized out of the grace and love I have received from God. I don’t want another program. I want life-changing transformation. I want movement in my faith. Asking myself if I really do sacrifice my power, if I am willing to forgo my privilege, if I will allow myself to truly see and love the ones Jesus loves—this is just the first step.

Movement Step: Jesus saw, loved, and ministered to the people on the margins, people considered outsiders by the elite of his day. Who are those on the margins in your community? How can you pour out your power and privilege and love as Jesus loved? Ask God to show you a different way of being, so this comes from a place of relationship with God rather than a checklist religion.

You can read the article about Priscilla Santo, “Shifting the Power,” in Fuller Magazine, Issue 15, by clicking on the link below.