Opinion | Pop Culture

From Dumpster Diving to the American Dream

How do upwardly mobile Christians follow a downwardly mobile God?
From Dumpster Diving to the American Dream

My husband and I are unintentionally living our version of the American dream.

Our home and family probably look normal to everyone else, but it’s far from what I imagined back in college. As part of a “Claiborne-again” intentional community that eschewed individualism and excess, I learned to live extremely simply then. My housemates and I sat together on the floor (no couches or tables for us!) and ate food salvaged from the almost-spoiled discount rack. We shared clothing. We found ways to creatively use everything.

But after college, instead of giving away our last penny and living with the poor in some remote corner of the world, my husband and I did what most people do: we got jobs. We started accumulating wealth. While others got laid off in the recession, my husband stayed on, receiving generous raises as his company recovered. We didn’t feel God calling us anywhere else, so we stayed. It made economic sense to buy a condo instead of rent, so we did. Then, ...

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