"The Jesus movement is a revolution that dances. Celebration is at the very core of our kingdom, and hopefully that celebration will make its way into the darkest corners of our world." Shane Claiborne
I experienced a foretaste of heaven tonight. I saw things that my eyes have never seen and felt things that my heart has never felt. I saw worlds colliding and a new vision of "community" starting to form. I saw children who have no fathers clinging for dear life to the necks of godly men who they'd never met before tonight. I saw poor kids playing and laughing with rich kids with no care as to how different they were - they were just enjoying life together! I saw 3 high school girls talking to a lonely 85 year old widow in her living room for well over 15 minutes. I saw a single mom from the suburbs sitting and sharing life with a single mom from the projects. I saw about 40 Christians step out of their comfort zone to be the hands and feet of Jesus and as a result, got a taste of what "life to the full" is all about. I saw a group of people in a neighborhood become MORE than just a service project, but started to become friends. I saw the vision of "family" get blown out of the roof. Biological family is too small of a vision. A love for our own families and even our "church families" is not a bad thing, but our love cannot stop there!
When we stop viewing the world as "us" and "them", I think we start moving closer and closer to the true Kingdom. When we start realizing that we are all flesh and blood, I think we start to catch the vision that God has for his people. So in Isaiah 58, when God says to not turn away from your own flesh and blood, He meant all of humanity. We were all cut from the same cloth. It's not like when God created me, I requested, "Uh, yeah, I'll take Lubbock, TX, plenty of money to live comfortably, and a loving Christian family." No. Those were all gifts that He blessed me with. I had nothing - NOTHING - to do with that. So to view the world as "us" versus "them" is just sinful and far from truth. One of the most simple, but profound, statements from tonight came from one of our moms who said, "I was a little scared to go down there, but then I realized...they're a whole lot like me!"
There's something about sharing celebration, laughter, and sidewalk chalk with people you'd usually not hang out with. As Shane Claiborne said, "It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer just a missions project but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh, cry, dream and struggle." There's something about experiencing love without borders. It just feels like heaven. My heart felt like it was going to explode a few times tonight. It made me think that if I can experience this kind of joy and love and community and fulfillment on earth, what could possibly be awaiting us in heaven?! Blows my mind...meanwhile, I can't WAIT to go back and hang out with my new little brothers and sisters.