I’m writing this to you from Berkeley, California. My sister and I are visiting my niece who attends law school here.

The highlight of the trip so far was biking across the Golden Gate Bridge. I have to say there was a bit of false advertising in the online description of the guided tour. The bike rental shop called it “family friendly.” Well, maybe if you’re the Lance Armstrong family. But we made it and the scenery was spectacular.

As we walked around the campus and surrounding areas in Berkeley, one thing really stood out to me. There was such diversity, so many people that looked so different from me. I realized what a sheltered life I live.

We joined some of my niece’s law school friends one night. Some of whom are interning at law firms that are in the heat of the immigration policy battles that are going on. They were telling real life stories of the plight of immigrants seeking asylum in this country. Suddenly, what I had been hearing on the news at home and turning a blind eye to became very real.

Not to mention the many homeless men and women we passed by on the streets of San Francisco.

All this has left me feeling embarrassed and sad. Embarrassed by my lack of a more global outlook and sad at my lack of a more global compassion.

Sitting in church this morning, I had a strange new awareness of the inherent beauty and dignity of God’s people. And the need to help each other.

The question is HOW? That is a question that I can tell isn’t going away anytime soon.

Our study of the book of James at Firstfruits these past weeks isn’t helping the situation. Much of the commentary centers on helping the poor. It is a convicting reminder of Jesus’ words in Luke 12:48. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

On this trip west God has shown me new sights and insights that will not soon be forgotten. Something has been put on my heart and for that I am grateful.

And for padded bike seats.


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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