This Thursday, people I’ve come alongside in my recent journey and walk with Jesus will be meeting in a home with a man whose been travelling around the world. He’s been meeting and talking with people who are living ‘relation-ally‘, versus, “religiously‘. Asking what their journeys look like in their faith – and sharing their experiences with other believers and followers of Jesus around the world.
While I won’t be able to attend this conversation, I was thinking this morning what I would say if I were there in their midst. How could I describe what my life has been like since my family and I stood up in the frightening freedom of faith…allowing our lives to be ‘faith feathers‘ blowing as Christ directed and led us?
I’ve shared enough, I think, about our dependence on religion…that is to say, man’s attempt to contain and constrain God in a systematic/programmatic box. I won’t spend more time reinforcing that position other than to say when I read through the notes left behind for us by the predecessors in our faith, we see that God is nomadic. His people from a distance look more like a trailer park, or a Boy Scout campground….and less like a cathedral or seminary. Depending on the person – this is either really good, or really bad news.
When I tried to describe what our/my life has been like since we “let go”, and began to live in relationship, the left side of my brain and the right side came up with this next picture. If it had a title, it would be called, “BEFORE & AFTER“.
The squares on the left are where I used to be. Moving back and forth between a programmed structure. The squares on the right are what’s happened since.
I think if I were there on Thursday with everyone, I’d just hand the guest speaker a piece of paper with this drawing on it. I think more than anything, the most powerful element of the drawing is the question mark at the bottom. Being comfortable with not knowing what’s next…I think that’s a better definition of faith than the old English explanations that are taught. Not knowing and putting another foot forward…usually towards a person.
When you’re living in community, and in relationship through Jesus…life looks like a combination of “The Lord of the Rings“, “Lilo and Stitch“, and “Lean on Me“. And Less like a musty library. Living life loved, this way, is the ultimate evangelism. Living loving one another is like a giant Coleman lantern on top of a picnic table in the middle of the woods. People find you. They are affected by, and affect in turn, you.
It is family. Growing and shrinking but always what remains is, family…closer to Stitch’s definition, I think,
“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.” (Stitch, “Lilo & Stitch”)
It’s hard to describe, but maybe that’s why I drew the picture.
I guess, that’s what I’d say on Thursday…. 🙂