A Wrecking Ball of Life

The latest issue of Relevant Magazine hit the streets two weeks ago, and I devoured every page of mine over the course of about seven days. Nestled in the middle, under an article by someone I'd never heard of before, was something that has caused an interesting turn of events in my life.

The article was called "Jesus Wrecked My Life." The author was a guy named Shane Claiborne. Ever heard of him?

He lives in Philly. He grew up in Tennessee. He walked the mainstream evangelical life for most of his youth but, disenchanted and disillusioned by it in college when he started hanging with the homeless in the downtown streets of Philadelphia, he went to visit Mother Theresa in Calcutta for a few months. There, he served the poorest of the poor, the dying, and the lepers, and even befriended many of them and learned what it meant to see Jesus incarnate on the earth. Then he came back to complete a one-year internship at Willow Creek in Illinois. (Big culture shock.)

The culture shock propelled him back back to Philadelphia, where he and small troupe of believers started something they called The Simple Way. This is centralized around a house (of the same name) where they live in community and exist to serve the poor and the homeless. They dish out food and dispense clothes. They plant gardens in concrete jungles and rehabilitate abandoned houses. They play with children and pray with prostitutes. And this is their daily reality, birthed from a passion to live the gospel Jesus brought to the world, not just theorize or talk about it anymore.

I was disarmed by Shane's sparse, deceptively simple message. And I wanted to go back to part of the source of it: Mother Theresa. That same day I read his article, I checked out three biographies on Mother Theresa from the library and settled into reviewing them in bed. From last Thursday to this past Sunday, I have pretty much lived and breathed Mother Theresa. She has been pretty much all I have talked about. (Ask Kirk. He now knows more about her life than he ever knew before, too, since I've been sharing whole passages about her life from one of the biographies, and we even rented and watched a movie about her on Sunday.)

Now I'm reading Shane Claiborne's book, The Irresistible Revolution. All of this is pretty much wrecking my life, too. I'll share more as my thoughts have time to surface and make sense. In the meantime, you should check out his book. Be prepared to start thinking about life in a whole new way.