|Disclaimer before reading:|
In this blog I will refer to being a Christian as being married to Christ. Please do not suppose I have taken vows of any sort particularly to celibacy. I have in fact vowed to abstinance before marriage and faithfulness in marriage but not to celibacy, poverty, or obedience.
Also this article might make more sense if you take the time to read the other two articles on searching. They give this one a bit of context.
Because of my upbringing I was destined to an arranged marriage to Christ; I did have some freedom however as to what age I would be when that took place. It happened on the side of a mountain in the chilly evening of July 31, 1997. I was 11.
As might be expected of any new bride I was anxious to know everything I could about my new love and reciprically I shared with Him everything I knew to about myself. Through the early years that excitement began to pale into my desireing a longer leash to discover who I was apart from this arranged marriage partner. This phase occurred while I was still in High School. I wanted not only to know myself but to know what life was like not being yoked in marriage. But the most peculiar thing is everytime I began to walk away, He was right there with me as if my Lover wanted nothing more than to be always by my side.
And so I learned to live with him. But not only did I learn to tolerate His presence, I began to learn to truly love him. I began to cling to His side and follow him wherever the lead me. And when I wasn't following Him and I relapsed into doing my own selfish things, they were completely devoid of meaning. I now not only loved my Lover but also I learned to love the things He loves.
This journey or search has obviously taken many different forms. To China, to sit at the feet of LCU Bible and Missions professors, to South Plains, to Pine Springs, to other mountains and nature settings, to South Plains Children's Shelter, to Chicago, to the back of a motorcycle, to "seminary," to various friendships, to Via Christus, and to Brazil.
Through these events and other experiences I'm trying to learn from my Lover what it is He is passionate about so I too can be passionate about those things and spend my life working in love and harmony with Him. Again and again I have been pulled into Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Habakkuk, and the Gospels. I have called out many times, What do you want from my life Lord? And His response comes back as to "sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow Me" (Lk 18:22).
But I try to follow my Lord without first dealing with my material belongings and that buys me four months of following my Love in Brazil. I know however that because I have not completely followed the command I must return to the life I left and the debt and responsibilities attatched to my name. I am greatful to get to return to my friends and mentors and hopefully they will be able to encourage me to more fully follow this command.
But my Lord's command is not so vague as to follow into the unknown. He has told me what He wants of me and what He will lead me into. That is, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). And more direct commands can be found in Isaiah and Amos (and many other places).
Now that I know what my Love wants from me, upon returning to the States from this honeymoon I will make the necessary preparations to follow through on his commands. That means not accummulating more debt, and as quickly as possible laboring for my freedom from debt. I am like Gomar, the prostitute of Hosea. I have forsaken my true love for the comfort and convenience of being self-serving and making for myself a home in this world. The child I have born through this prostitution is my debt. But fortunately my Lover is kind and good in correcting me and my poor choices. I must now deal with this child, debt, most severely. And until I deal with it and gain freedom I will be held back from completely following my Lord's intentions for my life.
What will it look like to be a servant of my Lord during this shackled time? I want to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. I don't want to be religious while continuing to participate in social systems that oppress people. I want to live simpily so that others can simpily live. I want to continue to liquidate the things I call mine to be generous to God's children in my backyard, Chicago. Unfortunately as long as I live in the U.S. I think I will be part of the problem. I will be consuming things like oil that are harmful to the environment, I will be consuming foods produced in countries where people die of starvation, I will be wearing clothes sewn by children held in slave labor. And I will not see the suffering I am causing. I will not be able to love the starving person, or help the person suffering the flooding of global warming. I will not be able to offer an alternative to the child who will sell herself for sex or labor. I will not be able to love the least of my Lover's children. I must follow Him, I must seek him out where He is among the suffering in the world. And to completely Love Him is to commit myself to the labor of love among the least.
Freedom from the world=
freedom through obedience to God