For me, the prime benefit of the accompaniment approach to global mission and development is how it prods us to replace  “over there” thinking (as in, “let’s pray or send money to those poor folks suffering somewhere else from a problem we have nothing to do with”) with a “right here” attitude (as in, “how might our own political and economic structures and personal habits be connected to that terrible problem afflicting people somewhere else? And how is that same problem present right here?”).

So I’m glad to see that at least some people are connecting the dots between our personal driving habits and our national catastrophe in the Gulf. And I was happy that blog follower Aleta Chossek of Milwaukee lifted up this “I Am” prayer for the Gulf from Frederic and MaryAnn Brussat.

As they say on their website, “Spirituality and Practice: Resources for Spiritual Journeys,”  “The spiritual truth is this: We are the polluted water of the Gulf and we are the polluters.”  In all our responses to the oil spill, may we not lose sight of this truth–and instead of screaming at BP, may we calmly put down our car keys and pick up a bus pass or a bicycle instead.

Anne Basye, Sustaining Simplicity