He had me at the Preface. Don’t you love books like that?! I had read Craig Greenfield’s book “The Urban Halo”, in which he tells the story of he and his family living in the slums of Cambodia. Read that again, please. LIVING in the slums of Cambodia. Not SERVING in, not MINISTERING in, but LIVING in. Service and ministry through life alongside those their hearts had been broken for.
Amazon’s Kindle graciously notified me that Mr. Greenfield had released a new book entitled “Subversive Jesus”. The definition of subversive is seeking or intending to subvert. Hmmm. Subvert’s definition? To overthrow. Intriguing title. As I said, he had me at the Preface. Read on:
“I’m glad you picked up this book, because we live in a broken world, and people like you are needed You are needed urgently.” Maybe you read this and say, “duh, Tricia, this world is a mess and we all need Jesus”. CORRECT!! However, I downloaded “Subversive Jesus” and I read that Preface just as my husband had said, “Let’s move to Haiti for however long God sees fit. It’s time.” Read on….we’re still in the Preface:
“I want to show you a side of Jesus that we have been too scared to embrace, the Jesus who sends tables and chairs crashing over because he is gripped by a passion to interrupt injustice. The Jesus who parties late at night witht he wrong crowd because he is so radically welcoming of those at the bottom of the heap.” OK, maybe party is a big word, but he gets your attention and drives home the point that Jesus didn’t mind getting dirty – he lived in the mess.
I want you to see this side of our Lord and Savior, too – no matter where you are. Look at the scope of influence created by our Savior who served right where he was. He forever turned this world upside down while ministering and loving people in a relatively small regional area. Oh, sure, Jesus DID happen to be 1/3 of a God-head, but guess what? You have FULL access to HIM and to HIS FATHER and YOU carry his Holy Spirit within you. My point is that as you see whatever happens next for Matt and I unfold before you, do not even begin to think “that’s great for some people” because we pray for YOU to be doing God’s great things right where you are. As we tell the story of Jesus’ influence and God’s work through his Holy Spirit in us, all of us at CLIMB, Accolade for Saving Lives and Tous Ensemble want you to know that if one little thing that God does through us inspires you, run with it. Accept the challenges and the whispers He places in your thoughts and dreams. Pray with us for each of us (yes, that is you, too!) to follow with confidence and reverent fear.
Place yourself in my shoes for a minute. I have just heard words from my husband that I believed God wanted and yet needed to know for sure was from God and not from us. I download this recommend reading from Kindle, and STILL IN THE PREFACE, Craig Greenfield refers to the lessons they learned while living among those they were called to serve. Read on:
“I’ve learned that where you stand determines what you see, so I’m going to invite you to stand with me for a while – in the slums and ghettos of the world, among thee poorest of the poor. And see Jesus with fresh eyes.”
He summed up what I have felt since the very first afternoon I entered La Savanne, the slum most of the ASL families live in. Matt was with us. As we pulled out of that common area, surrounded by children yelling at us (some positive and some very not positive), I spoke my heart, “I can barely stand to leave. I feel pulled to stay here, to know for myself what life is like for our moms.” Patchouko’s reply, “I cannot imagine it when it gets dark here.” Silence fell upon our vehicle.
How do we love well this group of people that God has placed in our lives? We subvert “rational” thinking – we turn it upside down. We embrace RADICAL love, RADICAL living, and we do life together serving our Savior right where He served. “And see Jesus with fresh eyes”. I LOVE that!! Mr. Greenfield doesn’t refer to seeing “the poor”, or “the poverty”, or “hopelessness”. NO! Seeing JESUS.
Matthew 28: 18 – 20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Stay tuned, friends, for updates on The Spading Adventures in Christ, but more than that – GO! See Jesus with fresh, new eyes in the people right there where you are.