Sometimes Twitter delivers. This twitter thread written by Jonathan Martin (@theboyonthebike) connected with me this past Sunday morning. I’m in Alaska helping my daughter with Arden’s care. Jonathan’s words touched a deep chord with me. They were all I got for church that day. I been reading and re-reading it ever since and sharing it with others. He just returned from South Africa. Perspective helps.
He gave me permission to reprint it here:
“On my way back to OKC in time for The Table tonight (5pm), & both my head & heart are full. It’s funny how sometimes you have to go halfway around the world—just to reconnect with your self.
All the optimism has been slowly beat out of me, which is a way of saying I’m finally learning what it is to be hopeful. Less contingent on particular outcomes, less certain that anything works out okay—more content just bearing witness to the beauty I’ve seen…
…for no other reasons than that I can’t unsee it, & because grace is the only truth that is left to tell. Tender, green, fragile, defiant…the shoot springs up from the stump.
That’s not even something I’ve chosen—life on the other side of dying isn’t something that you choose, just something that is. I don’t think much anymore about what to call what it is I’m doing, or what I want to do. I don’t think that it matters, because adjectives don’t matter.
What I know is that Jesus is the hole at the bottom of the sink that’s always got me swirling, dragging me toward the drain. I don’t try to resist the pull, because Christ is still where the wildness is for me.
We taught a wonderful group how to read Scripture for 5 days this week, & I laughed more than once at just how subversive the content was. The people I was with—folks like @jarrodmckenna, @steve_schallert, Rev. Rene August—are more dangerous than the so-called rebels are.
You can have your evangelicalism, your ex-evangelicalism, your garden variety new age, your right wing fear-mongering & your neoliberalism (or anything else that stops short of the kind of radical economic, political critique that threatens the foundations of everything that is).
To put it more simply: I’ve had the weight of the world on my shoulders long enough to crave some kind of shelter, to wish I could get out of the noise. I’m coming back ready to make noise again. The mischief is back in me. Or in other words—the Spirit.
I want to be where the flames of Pentecost burn the old world down, & with the people that light the matches. I don’t claim to be such a person yet—but I do know such people, & for this I am grateful.”—Jonathan Martin