“The numbers were bad. Some were made up. They had pluses where there should have been minuses. It took time, but they’re back in shape.”
I was on the phone with Gordon Mann from Public Financial Management. PFM is serving as the Act 47 coordinator for the city of Reading. Mann’s passion is for the numbers. His voice is confident and my pen rushes to keep up with the accounting information we discuss.
Act 47 is a governmental designation here in Pennsylvania saying the city is in fiscal emergency. Mann’s company must guide it back from the steps of ruin. He breaks the image down into understandable chunks. The only solution is cutting wherever possible. Contraction, not expansion.
Not popular terms for politicians promising assertive action to make things right again, to get the homeless off the streets and into jobs.
Two opposing forces are here moving towards collision.
Promises versus reality. Action and reaction. Faith during another night in the cold, unemployed with no answer in sight.
We live our years here as followers of Jesus, a Savior calling us to shed our old selves and pick up a new cross. The Bible tells the story of more than once of the rich man asking about entrance to Heaven. Jesus advises him to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor.
Not a story that makes us comfortable.
So where do we stand on the line? Are we holding tightly to something we are called to release?
Both of my sons love their pillows. They have favorite blankets that must be on the bed for any chance of sleep.
Where do we find peace?
I’m feeling the challenge this week to live in the midst of the conflict. To lay down my insecurities, pick up my Cross and start walking. Cutting our comforts for an active faith is never easy.
This is why Monday is a huge day for P356. The next step of this outreach has arrived. I’ll have a post Monday morning with all the details.
For now, I’m standing at the starting line.
Will you join me?