I have journeyed with these people since September, 2008, at which time we embarked on a wild ride into the spiritual formation labyrinth together via a Master of Arts program through Spring Arbor University. We graduated in May, 2011.
This was what I originally posted after our final residency in Malibu (yes, California, where we suffered immeasurably even as the prophets before us). I miss them.
The “Conspirators” we call ourselves, based loosely on Eugene Peterson’s notion of subversive spirituality; that which weaves itself as an unstoppable force in faithful lives, moving deftly under the radar. We’re setting out to dethrone evil and injustice in the world while people are looking the other way and we’ve set a goal of becoming more like Jesus. Were I to forget everything read, spoken, thought or written, them I could not. They are Jesus to me. In them I “get” God; through them, God has skin to feel, hands to hold, eyes to see, lips to kiss, tongue to speak, arms to embrace and a heart that pounds, aches, breaks. Indeed, “in the shelter of each other we will live” (Jars of Clay).
The Christian journey makes no sense in any posture other than a humble yearning for light or any other backdrop than others bent on the same. The widow’s mite, small and seemingly insignificant, is the greatest gift of all since God’s face is on one side; everyone else’s on the other. As I have discovered, the best way of speaking to one another is through the haze of glassy eyes red with the tears of redemptive community. I feel utterly alone and yet surrounded by the spirits of others touching mine, hand clasped in hand in the metaphoric distance of geography. They are now who I am. Their voices are now my voice. The world I now see is the world they have known. The pitiful ache in my soul belongs to them and is for them. In this bittersweet pain I can do all things. God is never more real than when seen through the kaleidoscope of other journeys knit to my own. Their light merges with mine to create a single, piercing ray of illumination – God’s eyes for the world. This is the Church. Nothing less will do. Ever.