Yesterday I had a phone conversation with a friend and someone I have had the privilege of being a Spiritual Director to over the years. I have watched her grow in depth of faith, and love for Jesus and his Kingdom. She has come far in her journey with him.
The phone call was one of those check-in-with-one-another varieties. In the course of so doing our friend began to talk about how what she was doing was "wrecking her" with regard to the way she has been living the Christian life. Jesus is "radicalizing" her understanding of what it means to follow him wholeheartedly She related her life will never be the same. She knows she can't go back to the old ways of being Christian. This awareness both scares and inspires her. Indeed.
In the course of the conversation she also related how what we are doing in Northampton through imagine has been pulling at her of late. She has followed our journey here since its inception and now God seems to be whispering to her about more than following from afar. It is still a whisper to be sure, but clearly something is up.
After our exchange, I noticed I was pleasantly bouyed and refreshed for a bit. The day had been what I referred to on Twitter as "crazy-quilt" with all sorts of interruptions from every which way, and no real sense of momentum materializing. I was a little unnerved at times. And frustrated.
What I realized when I thought about it was how refreshed and motivated I become when talking about imagine/Northampton with someone who is getting it: the dream, the vision, the struggle and challenge of trying to plant it in this tough town. When I get to do so the enterprise feels real and substantial. When others respond with interest more than "Wow! That's cool," I get excited because perhaps they are going to get into the fray, and help shoulder forward the mission. Now we're getting somewhere.
I am also heartened when I see God percolating in them the same desire he percolated in me and Tricia, Jim, Karin, Matt and Karen back in Simsbury a few years ago. He is at work behind the scenes birthing this mission. Such awareness braces me.
So thank you, Father, and thank you, Ms. Smith, for the conversation.
May it be a piece of the gloriously redemptive Kingdom of God taking deeper hold in us, and in Northampton, Massachusetts!
Maranatha for real!