“If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me”
“The compassionate life,” says Henri Nouwen, “is the life of downward mobility . . . the descending way of Jesus. It is the way toward the poor, the suffering, the marginal, the prisoners, the refugees, the lonely, the hungry, the dying, the tortured, the homeless—toward all who ask for compassion.” Jesus invites the rich young ruler—and all others who read this red-letter story—to free themselves from the talons of consumer-driven idolatry and to follow him on the descending way of compassion. It is good to remember this invitation is in response to the rich man’s question: “What must I do to gain eternal life?”
Larry Stoess is an author, public speaker, and urban church planter. He loves telling stories about how dreaming with God will empower people to make old and broken things new again. Larry and a band of friends founded the Church of the Promise in Louisville's Portland neighborhood; The Table, a pay-what-you-can community café; and Promise Housing Plus, a non-profit construction company. He has written about their experience of dreaming with God in his new book: Think Red.