Humility and Hospitality

There by the grace of God go I



Today my research on organized crime groups was quoted in the Liverpool Echo.

And this morning in church our gospel reading was Luke 14. 1, 7-14 which was brilliantly apt and spoke to me about so much.

It is a part of the gospel of St. Luke where we are really getting into the tension between Jesus and the pharisees/ the law. Jesus is constantly being criticised for hanging around with the ‘undesirables’ and the ‘criminals’, he is called out for not adhering to religious conventions. There is is always a religious rationale for why His behaviour is wrong.

It is a clear battle between theology and the good news. Jesus wanted to win people over not beat them down. He wanted to welcome them in.

We are to welcome the poor, the ‘criminals’, those who are constructed as deviant, those who are addicted to drugs, people who are excluded because of their trans gender status, or their sexuality, or because they are sex workers, or because they are disabled, or any other reason.

As we know from the Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes’ book, without the other, we ourselves are incomplete. All are welcome at the table. Our society must be inclusive and we must be a community.

So when I read derogatory comments under the Heroin article, stating dehumanizing things like “smack heads are rats” “they would all be better off dead” “set them all on fire” “I hope they all die” etc it makes me so angry.

People who are addicted to heroin have faced multiple traumas. Who are you to judge them? There but by the grace of God go I. If you haven’t walked in their shoes you need to wind your neck in and stop judging.

Our society is becoming increasingly divided and cruel. Those at the margins face increasingly hostility and calls for their eradication.

My love and support goes to anyone struggling with addiction. Nobody knows your story or what you are battling with. My respect goes to all the harm reduction services, volunteers and activists who are fighting for more funding and policy reform.

Why do we demonise the consumers of drugs, and the dealers, yet not the super rich companies who create drug epidemics?

It is always the working class who suffer from capitalism and bad drug policy. 

So the next time you pass someone on the street asking for change, or see needles strewn in a gutter, ask yourself who is benefiting overhaul from this current system. And strike up a conversation with the ‘other’, the people who make you uncomfortable, because that’s where we are meant to be, not idolising the billionaires.


Gemma x