Ever since I first started reading Down We Go by Kathy Escobar I’ve been promising you a discussion of some of the main points of the book. So here we go…
Chapter 2 – Dreams Are Much Prettier When They Are Just Dreams
In this, the second chapter, Kathy begins to flesh out what the Wild Ways of Jesus actually look like.
1. What scares you abut raw, messy, incarnational relationships? – I pride myself on “having it all together,” and I’m usually frustrated when things go awry. I’m uncomfortable around people with emotional problems, and who may have mental or physical disabilities. I know it shouldn’t be, but it’s hard for me to connect with folks who have that kind of problem. I’m deliberately trying to get outside my own comfort zone and connect with people who don’t have it all together.
2. How addicted to inspiration are you? What draws you to it? – as a little background, here’s what Kathy has to say about inspiration addition.
Many of us thought that going to “church” was about being inspired. Yes, it’s important to be inspired by G-d. But it is also possible to go only for the feeling of inspiration. My friend Karl calls it “inspiration addiction.” It is the powerful pull toward being entertained and inspired while sitting in our seats. I was definitely an inspiration addict. I remember leaving many a church service energized and filled up, thinking how amazing it was to listen to a powerful song, watch a moving film clip or hear a stirring sermon that made me laugh or cry. The problem is that very few of those inspirational moments translated into change in my real life. It became about getting a fix once a week.
It’s really easy to fall into that trap – to begin to see worship as an end in itself, because it inspires us, or touches us. But it seems to me that we need to be changed by our worship. That it needs to not just inspire us, but also to motivate us to follow Jesus into the nitty gritty of life.
3. What is your Jesus School right now? What are you learning right now about yourself, G-d, and others at this season in your journey? – I’m learning that my “inspiration addiction” isn’t enough. I’m learning that in order to faithfully follow Jesus I need to do something. I commend to you this sermon from Margaret Aymer Oget. She has a way of reminding me that following Jesus is about action, not feeling good. I’m also learning that the words we use may be as important as the ideas we have, particularly after doing my series during Advent from Words Matter.
4. As you look around, what are you seeing now that you used to not see? – I’m seeing people who I thought were self-centered and basically worthless doing incredible work with folks less fortunate than themselves. I’m seeing new forms of worship and of spiritual discipline that I may have know existed, but didn’t recognize earlier. I’m hearing sexist, ageist, and racial language that I didn’t realize was there. And I’m attempting to point it out and counteract it as and where I can.
5. Have you ever felt like you were in G-d’s Ghetto? How? – Fortunately, I don’t ever think I’ve felt like I was in G-d’s Ghetto. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that I was loved by G-d, even if other people didn’t know that. I complain and stew about wanting to do things and not being able to because of circumstances, or because of other people, or for whatever reason, but I’ve never felt like it was because G-d abandoned me.