How Well Do You Know Your THUMBS?
To know something like the back of your hand has become a popular expression. But what is it to know your thumbs? THUMBS is coined by the Joshua Project to stand for Tribal Groups, Hindu, Unreligious, Muslim, Buddhist, and Sikh. These groups represent roughly 2.5 BILLION people in the world population (according to Joshua Project)! Our challenge this week is to get to know your THUMBS like the back of your hand.
You can do this in a number of ways. There is a specific prayer guide developed targeting this exact group that can be accessed at https://joshuaproject.net/assets/media/prayer/guides/prayer-guide-thumbs.pdf . While it features photos of these people groups from around the world, you don’t have to travel far to know your thumbs. What about your community? Think of your city. Look up the demographics. How many fall into these categories in your city?
Do you buy coffee from an unreligious barista everyday on your morning commute? Do you pick up donuts from a Buddhist or Animist-owned shop? These are relationships. While your relationship history with these people may have simply been currency exchange and a brief thank you, I dare you to go beyond that. Relationship building is intentional and is not done overnight. While you may not dive into religion with this person tomorrow, begin to identify and pray for these people close to you today. Then follow that up with getting to know them little by little. Maybe each day you speak a little more or go a little deeper, telling them about your life, learning about their family or history. Then one morning you make a point to bring a laptop and set up shop in that coffee place or donut shop or whatever location you happen to find your local THUMBS. As you work there over a few hours, the morning rush settles down. You engage him or her in conversation. You invite the person to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you. Eventually- maybe weeks, maybe years- the topic of beliefs comes up. When it does, it feels totally organic because you have built a genuine relationship with this person. By now you’re friends. You know him or her and genuinely care for that individual. Sharing becomes non-threatening and seems nothing more than sharing the next part of your life with this friend. Because as we minister to our THUMBS, they are not our “agenda”. Our agenda is to LOVE. God takes care of the rest. So this week begin praying. Begin thinking about the THUMBS in the world and in your community, and identify specific ways that