The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

the pilgrimage: Henri Nouwen and my own topsy-turvy little heart


I’m new, and shall begin with this.
From March 2007, after enlightening, challenging, and terrifying experiences with a US-Mexico border study tour, and Chaim Potok.


I’m processing.

I can’t help thinking of the vast injustice people undergo while I sit in my plush chair, furnished by a private, fairly conservative, Christian, bubbled-in university. I can’t help thinking of Asher Lev, who was shunned by religion itself for using art to express the world as it truly is. I can’t help thinking of people I’ve met who have developed, in such a short time, into men and women who speak for justice, regard life as an intentional expression of faith, use their capacity for knowledge to better understand and interact with the world surrounding them, act boldly and choose to live a life that many would deem wholly wasteful. They live in the margin by choice.

I want to be in that margin.

People tell me I’ve got it together, that I have a level head and know where my life is going. But it hasn’t gone anywhere yet. I’m still waiting for it to get off the floor and cease the stagnation that has formed from ideas and passions, ruminated too long without being set free. I know I have the desire and the capacity, both welcome to manifest themselves, to do good and to be good for the world; but they remain unseen, merely glimpses of the person I could be but not yet am.

I want to lead an eloquent, powerful existence.

I can call myself a hippie all I please, spout postmodern theology, tote around my thrift-store Nalgene, proclaim to be a visionary for a kingdom without borders or marginalization… But that kingdom remains hidden until I actively seek it, in action and not just in belief. What causes the transformation of the church, the embrace of peace and simple living, the push towards the right and true kingdom, but the lives of those who cry loudly for it?

I can cry. I’m quite good at it, and I’ve noticed that people listen.

It’s good to have people listening. It’s good to share my beliefs with those who will take them seriously. But more than believing, I long to act. More than being, I long to do. Perhaps it’s something I have to wait for… or perhaps it’s something my feeble mind has missed. But I am distinctively finished with remaining motionless.

This is orthopraxy.


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2 thoughts on “Motion

  1. “Seeing young people like yourselves gives me hope about the future of the church.” – a quote from someone I do not know to someone not you but is now to you because it is from me.

  2. “Our interest is not so much around orthodoxy (getting it right) or orthopraxy (doing it right) but orthoparadox and living into the tensions. As we encounter one another, as we come together, we bring the fullness of ourselves and our communities and together we live into this grand tension…practice rooted in tradition but open to innovative forms of expression.” – another quote from someone not me (heard during an “emergent podcast” regarding emergent jews and emergent christians in dialogue). I thought this interesting considering you’re last sentence. This tension is particularly evident as we try to be innovative without alienating, grateful for a heritage but not bound by it and pressing forward without leaving others behind.

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