Beautiful Ruins

Steinschloss

H. Raab via Compfight

If you want to read something today that is beautiful and challenging and unsettling, read this.

D. L. Mayfield moved a couple of years ago with her husband and daughter from Portland to a diverse immigrant community in Minneapolis. They live a life of solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed. If you’re curious how they ended up living this life, the post above in A Deeper Story will give you a pretty good feel for it. 

Here’s a snippet of that piece:

Relocate everything, redistribute your life. Move away from safety and security. Go the opposite direction as the American Dream, and see if you don’t breath a sigh of freedom as you go. Move in and sit down and don’t get up for a good long while. Listen for as long as you can stand it, and when you burst at the seams with all you are learning and all you want to share, listen harder. Be confused, be scared, be naive, be hopeful. Start out lonely, and float into the land of the overwhelmed. It is your turn to feel like the stranger, and soon it will be your turn to experience the hospitality.

If something feels easy, it is because it is. If something feels hard, it is because it is. If going and doing a project or a trip or a social media campaign is quick and fast and requires little of you except for the requisite epiphanies, then it is too easy. It does not speak to the lions waiting to devour us all, it does not bind us to living breathing people. Go, go and see the world, but come back as a sister or brother, a friend and equal. We are all part prophet, all part narcissist. We are all trying to save the world through scarves, a little bit of hope and beauty that we can take with us into this lonely world.

Related Reading

Revolting Against Classism

All fallen societies and religions have a tendency to rank people according to class. All have ways of separating the insiders from the outsiders, the holy from the unholy and the more important people from the less important people. Jesus revolted against classism by the way he lived, a way defined by the Kingdom. Now,…

Listening with Humility and Love

Bindaas Madhavi via Compfight Robert Martin over at Abnormal Anabaptist published an article today concerning the recent post by the Gospel Coalition. The Gospel Coalition seems to be humbly acknowledging that maybe they have something to learn from Anabaptists. Martin notes that many Anabaptists have responded with something along the lines of “Yay! It’s about…

The “Kingdom Now”: Reflections on Magical American Christianity

One major problem American Christians face is that we tend to embrace a magical view of the Christian faith. We assume that if a person “prays the sinners prayer,” “surrenders their life to Christ,” and “accepts Jesus as Lord of their life,” this somehow magically “saves” them and will sooner or later magically transform them…

The Kingdom of God ≠ Political Activism

Given the centrality of following Jesus’ example, it is vitally important we not only notice that Jesus was a revolutionary (see post) along with some ways that we can join his revolution (see that post here), but how he was a revolutionary. Many Christians today assume that in order to revolt against ungodly aspects of…

Showing Up

Jonathan Kos-Read via Compfight Shauna Niequist over at  Donald Miller’s Storyline blog shared some thoughts on Why You Should Stop Waiting for Life to be Perfect. She points out that sometimes this waiting for perfection gets in the way of noticing the goodness that is already here for you. Show up to your life today, even…

True Life Now

Whether we want to admit it or not, experience teaches us that life is a perpetual, relentless process of decay, one that we know inevitably leads toward death. And this fills many of us with a certain amount of angst. Some try to relieve their dread by immersing themselves in mind-numbing entertainment or chemical substances.…