Am I My Brother’s Keeper?


Caris Adel and I met on-line. She led the chorus asking me to start a book club awhile back and has been an ardent reader and participant ever since. She’s an avid reader and thinks hard about the ideas she encounters. Caris wrestles, writes and welcomes community on-line and in real life. (Yes, we’ve shared a real meal around a real table!) I admire her relentless pursuit of truth, neighborliness and Gospel goodness. 


“Prosperity breeds amnesia.”

You don’t need enough money to be ‘rich’ in order to be prosperous – just enough to pay the bills and then some.  Just enough to insulate you from the reality of life for the most.

‘Having enough’ as we think of it means you can pay to cover the miles between you and government housing. When you have bought the boundaries that separate you from your neighbors, you don’t have to see the rent-to-own trucks that show up weekly at their door.

When you are prosperous, you don’t have to remember, or even learn how and why the city, the state, the country, is divided the way it is.  It doesn’t affect your life one way or the other.  When you have more than enough, it is easy to ignore the topics of race and privilege because your more than enough papers over the uncomfortable.

“We are so fearful that we want to fence the world in order to keep all the others out.”

If I were God, I would have made our tendency to fear a little weaker and our willingness to love a little stronger.  It’s so easy to be afraid of each other, of what we don’t know, and it feels so much easier to retreat to our own lines and hide.  I mean, we pay taxes and we like our comfort, and besides, we’ve worked hard for what we have, and come on, we’re not really our brother’s keeper.

Read the rest about neighborhoods, haircuts, privilege and yes, Sabbath, here.


CarisProfileCaris Adel is passionate about recognizing the image of God in everyone and is continually looking for ways to disrupt her status quo.  After spending 32 years near the shores of Lake Michigan, she’s a recent transplant to the Tidewater region of Virginia, where she lives with her pacifist leanings in a military community.  Raised in a primarily white environment, she now lives as a minority in her neighborhood, and after a lifetime spent in conservative evangelical churches, she is quickly falling in love with the Episcopal Church.  Caris has been married for 12 years to her civil-engineer high school sweetheart, and they have 5 kids that she educates at home. She blogs at

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One thought on “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

  1. sandy hay
     ·  Reply

    Today’s blog speaks loud and clear. The application of this book is well beyond anything I’ve thought much about before. But no longer….

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