Still Playing at Being a “Christian…”

…I am, that is.

So a Facebook friend from college posted a link to Jen Hatmaker’s blog, and I’ve simply been blown away. The post I first read was about the election, and I was moved, I’m not afraid to say, to tears. That post is here. I’ve long been drawn in the direction of the kind of stance she takes, but hadn’t quite put it all together with the courage and insight that she did. I’m glad to say that I couldn’t agree more. My yearning to serve the “least of these” and to see God’s peace-with-justice come about in the world often compels me to lean in one political direction over another and to favor some candidates over others, but after reading her post I was reminded where my hope lies, and to whom my allegiance belongs. In fact, I’ve been a bit contradictory as I’ve railed against the injustices perpetrated by the USAmerican system/way of life while at the same time putting more than just a little hope in a particular candidate/party within that system. So yet again Bono was right:

“God is with the vulnerable and poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.”

And I’m with whoever is with them too, whatever political label they happen to wear. Back to Jen, I love it particularly when she says:

“If discipleship means loving the broken, then love the broken.

If following Jesus means abandoning our rights, then abandon them.

If you care about the sanctity of life, then devote yourself to its care – womb to grave.

If you worry about the vulnerable, then give your life away for them.

If Scripture tells us perfect love drives out fear, then it does.

If your trust is in a Servant Savior, then put it there and leave it there.

As children of God, we should be unthreatened by secular power. The Law was never able to bring redemption, and it is still insufficient to make all things new. The healing and hope and goodness we long for is realized fully in Jesus, extended through His people despite hardship or distance or the passage of time or the changing of guards. No political party can see it through or take it away. It was finished on the cross, and the discussion is over.”

Again, I couldn’t even hope to say it any better. Jen and her family have done some amazing things. They adopted two kids from abroad, adding to the three they already had, because it was the right thing to do. Her husband helped start what looks like an awesome faith community. She wrote a book about a seven month journey in which she and her family “…identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.” She and other bloggers/writers went to Haiti to partner with a relief agency and write about their efforts and how we all can pitch in. I look at people like Jen Hatmaker and the college Facebook friend who first linked to her blog, Jennifer Jukanovich, and am filled with awe. The latter Jen and her husband also adopted children from abroad and then moved (moved!) to Rwanda (Rwanda!) to help start small businesses there. Again, I am filled with awe.

Jen Hatmaker’s latest post talks a bit more about her Haiti trip and her resolve to live in light of it as if nothing mattered but following Jesus to the ends of the earth in loving service to the least of these, whatever the cost. I can only hope for the courage for me and my family to be so resolved again some day too.

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