Welcome back to Second Chance Wednesdays! It is once again time to turn to the People of the Second Chance's poster series, Never Beyond. If you are new to this campaign, you can read more about it and find links to all of my Never Beyond posts here.
The Occupy Movement, which started garnering publicity with the Occupy Wall Street protests that started in September, has added some new phrases to our lexicon. Ninety-nine percent used to just be a number. Now, 99% represents a group of people. That means that 1% represents a group of people as well. In this context, "1%" represents the top wage-earners and wealthy people in the United States.
(Read the POTSC blog post on 100% here.)
I have heard and read some passionate arguments from those for and against the Occupy Movement. I have been told that I am part of the 99%, the 1%, the 53%, the 47%, and several other numbers that people have come up with.
I have some real ambivalence about the whole Occupy movement. I was raised in a conservative, capitalist, Republican home. My Dad worked hard and supported us on a pure-commission income for many years. I picked up many of his values just by default. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, which is typically a "liberal" field supported by tax-and-spend programs that are usually authored by Democrats. All this means is that I can participate in a heated argument without anyone but me in the room.
We could go around in circles all day about economic inequality and insecurity. Most everyone could make a good point for or against the way many of our constructs work. We could nitpick about which percentage of what that who belongs in.
However, one thing always remains the same, no matter what your economic status. 100% of us are in need of grace and second chances. There is not one perfect person in any of the groups that have an opinion on our current economic situation. You could own the 87th percentile rank all on your own and it would not change the fact that you are imperfect and in desperate need of God's benevolence.
Whichever side of the economic argument you come down on, I want you to take a look. Take a look at just one person who is on the opposite side. Ask yourself if you could show grace to that person. Ask yourself if you could give that one person a second chance - a second chance for anything. Ask yourself if this polarizing social debate has taken you in to the point that you could not share God's love with this one person who disagrees with you. Ask yourself how you would feel about seeing that one person walking through the gates of Heaven right in front of you.
It is an unfortunate commentary on our society these days that the people who are willing to give second chances might only represent a very small percentage of our population. If 1% actually signified only the group of people who were willing to spread around radical grace, would you want to be part of that number?