Thursday, March 13, 2008

oceans and reductions...

I started on some harm reduction thinking today as I read my friend Dion's thoughts on visiting a safe injection site in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. It really fires me up... and I think I'm starting to know why.
In a week or two Major Campbell Roberts (from New Zealand) and I are publishing a new book on social justice called JUST Imagine - the world for God. 
In that book we suggest that often the reason for the world being so filled with injustice is because people have lost the ability to imagine it any differently. 
I've just finished the biography of Muhammad Yunis, the founder of Grameen Bank (a micro-credit bank for the poor) - who won the Nobel Peace Prize for economics and is a hero on poverty reduction. He starts his book with this:
"we can only build what we can imagine. only if we conceptualize a world without poverty can we start to build it." then he ends the book with the chapter, 'what would it be like?' here's a quote: 
"Can we really create a poverty-free world? A world without third-class or fourth-class citizens, a world without a hungry, illiterate barefoot underclass? Yes we can, in the same way as we can create 'sovereign' states, or 'democratic' political systems, or 'free' market economies. 
A poverty world would not be perfect, but it would be the best approximation of the ideal... it would be a world we could all be proud to live in."
It struck me that what I most dislike about harm reduction is it's agreement with despair. It's resignation of hopelessness, it's deal with 'fate'. I want to (and choose to) believe in a world where addicts can be completely free. not just manage with their addictions BUT COMPLETELY FREE... I feel like I'm one of a few voices who choose to speak with faith the things that aren't as though they are... but this week I heard a great holiness teacher, Alan Harley remind me through a Bible study on Isaiah 61 that God's salvation is BOUNDLESS... enough to save the whole world... so rich and so free.. I'm letting it wash over me again and then take me out to the depths of it... and join Him in redeeming the whole world. 
Just some thoughts from a shameless dreamer. 


Ricardo Walters said...

Right on! Redemptive intent,Hope, vision, aspiration, groping for something more - something better, purer, higher.

Good word!

Anonymous said...

Yup, agree D. Was just teaching last night on Ezekiel 37, Valley of Dry Bones (connected with Lazarus) and how God saw something different than Ezekiel did. God saw the potential for Spirit-filled life where dry death was the only thing visible.

We have to agree with God, not the world.


Grazer said...

Great thoughts Danielle. But could safe injection sites be a step towards freedom? They are not the final destination, but a point along the journey?

Bram said...

Thanks for this thoughtful post. I was challenged. We Christians know about another world and another way of life, yet we continue to be influenced by the imagination of this fallen world. We need to see things differently and help others see things differently - I need to see things differently. Thanks for the reminder.

Also, if you haven't already done so, you may be interested in reading Walter Brueggamann's classic on imagination, "The Prophetic Imagination."

Bram Pearce

Phil said...


JDK said...

Some might suggest that those who think total abstinence is the only path are the ones that lack imagination ;-) It is my understanding that harm min principles relate to the journey not the destination. Regards, JDK

With Holy Discontent said...

I agree with TDK. Harm min is one of the first steps in keeping people alive and healthy so that they can journey to a faith in Christ.