I found myself saying this phrase today. It was couched in an afternoon so thick with redemption that you could smell Jesus.
He’s crazy like that, you know.
Crazy enough to bring together a babysitter and a little girl, now in grown up bodies, to share story.
Stories of Harm, and stories of goodness, with silly stories of the every day mixed between.
History, we call it; the stories of Long Ago. This was a space for “her-story”. Infinitely more sacred, and raw and it’s beauty and pain.
These two crazy fishermen were talking one day. Probably the one was asking the other why in the world he had given up the business, when it had been in the family for generations. And all that, to follow a new guy in town that people said was crazy?! Definitely illegitimate at the very least. And in a place where bloodlines matter, that was unforgivable.
And what did the smelly fisherman say?
Come. And. See.
aspen circle near snow bowl, Flagstaff, Arizona
A lament for our Dream Act kids…We were the immigrants once. We are the immigrants today. We are the they.
What if…we stopped drawing lines in the sand between us.
What if…we stopped building walls.
What if…we stopped throwing words like grenades.
What if…we stopped using fear to form laws.
What if…we started daring to turn over Temple tables.
What if…we started with the scroll of good news to the poor.
What if…we started to break our Samaritan neighbor world view.
What if…we started to love our neighbor.
Would justice roll down?
Would swords get repurposed as plowshares?
Would children who took a long trip keep their papers?
Would old sheriffs have to keep the law?
What if the kingdom were to come.
As it is in heaven.
Home where you belong.
Today is kids club… the in between Sunday. It’s the day we get to hear from the work crew and interns. They have been working their tails off in the hottest week of summer. It hit 120° the first day. Neighborhood. My kids get to be loved on here, with 450+ others and 120 volunteers.
Amd change that is occurring in the leaders’ hearts…
It is interwoven with Story. Story of a child’s life and reality. Story of homes that are not safe sometimes. So kids club, it is a respite; a taste of something different. This is the place where someone shows up, just for that child.
This story used to seem so far removed to me, a story of the inner-city. I know now, that it was my story too. I wish that there had been adults with eyes to see, when I was a kid; to see beyond.
And so, when I felt myself swept away with the crazy music on the first day, I hold space for these kids playing tag around me in the middle of worship. I asked that there would be adults who show up for them, and who have eyes to see.
May it be so.
We are sitting with Desmond Tutu in the Mystic Activists this month. His writings are mentoring us as we wrestle with the tough questions of reconciliation and forgiveness. I find my heart stirring anew as I listen to this deeply humble man who lives what he speaks and writes.
As the archbishop of the Anglican church in South Africa, Desmond Tutu chaired the truth and reconciliation commission, at the request of newly elected Nelson Mandela. This was a major change from how war crimes had been handled since World War II. It allowed victims to tell their stories. It invited perpetrators to tell their stories. Truth is the only starting point to true reconciliation.
Desmond Tutu says, “The problem with letting bygones be bygones is that they dont stay bygones. They will return to haunt you…Forgive and forget says….What happened in your case either didn’t happen or it doesn’t matter” (D.T. On forgiveness)
It has been my experience that the road to healing is the road back. Far from keeping me stuck in the past, it frees me more and more to live boldly today. But deep courage is required to know, really know, my story. It is only from that place of knowing that true forgiveness, or release from my right to revenge, can occur. Its not a one time deal. Thats why it is called the work of forgiveness.
I wonder, where is the invitation for you today? I am wrestling it another layer deeper. Because it matters.
There can be no true reconciliation without it. And we are desperately needing that in our community. But even if reconciliation is not possible, if both sides are not willing to enter this work; it matters.
It matters for my heart to be free.