I used to think of my life as a follower of Jesus as something I was “getting better at.” But the more I learn about Jesus, the more I get to know Jesus, the more like a baby I feel. Lately, I feel like I’m stumbling towards something currently– Spiritually, I picture myself the way my one year old daughter is, probably a little less than a month pre-walking. She can stand up, but then she just stands there, her bum sticking out at a hilarious angle, astounded by what she has accomplished. Terrified to take a step. That’s how I feel on my journey towards Christian activism, towards more Jesus-like living in the tiny, day-to-day things.
After reading the Bible for years as a book of rules or people to copy, I am rediscovering the beauty of God’s words– his very words– written down for us. I read about a refugee teenager living in a land hostile to his faith. I read about how he receives special treatment due to his good looks and intelligence. About how he is offered the best food in the whole place. I read about how he is invited to rely on his new country for sustenance, to look to his new country to see a reflection of his values, to trust in his new country to take care of him. Provide for him. Make his life easier.
I read about how he chooses, graciously and humbly to decline. How he offers solutions that keep him living at peace and even bring honor to the godless rulers above him. I read about how tiny quiet choices of submission to God are the way of a heart that beats after God’s own heart. The way of abundant life.
I see a man who chooses to make mercy his protest. Who offers solutions rather than angry clamoring. I see a heart that is content to do small things because of its faith in a great God. I see a man who knows that the prayer God always answers is the one that pleads that He would be glorified and that His kingdom would come.
I see a God who turns the hearts of kings with justice and mercy.
I see a path opening up into this activism thing that we really don’t have to call activism at all. We really could just call it being like Jesus. We really could just call it abundant life.
A way lined with small choices and protests of truth in mercy and beauty.
A way paved by the one who carried his cross quietly, humbly, willingly. Who shows mercy.
There are lots of things happening in our world that we may not agree with. There are ways our culture defies abundant, Jesus-centered living.
But, friends, when will we learn that the answer isn’t yelling louder but is instead leaning into Jesus?
That offering solutions is the abundant life Jesus showed us how to live?
That the world says it’s best to be the one who argues best or the one who makes the laws or the one who has the most, but Jesus said to be the ones who show mercy?
In small ways, let’s lean into all the abundant life Jesus offers us and wants to offer the world through us.
Today, you can choose to download the beautiful song Twelve Weeks by my friends Tim & Abby. They are donating all the proceeds from the purchase of this song to Caris, an organization showing mercy and providing resources to women who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy.