Life As a Radical
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
“Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.” Denver Moore
Caution. You are about to read a very R-rated issue—“R” as in stories of radical faith in God’s call. Radical calls to regular people who said “yes” to God when He asked them to do things totally out of their own comfort zones and totally outside the realm of their carefully constructed blueprints for life.
Few of us expect to turn a corner and find a burning bush or see an angel standing in our kitchen one morning waiting to give us specific directions for life. I am sure we would be most startled should that happen. Even so, God still has an uncomfortable way of confronting His own in this chaotic, cynical, and very secular world. He knows how to break through the noise and get our attention. When He does, there is not going to be a minute of peace inside our hearts until we submit and realize this radical truth—He is God. We are not.
Jenni and Lee Smith were loving their comfortable life when their small group began to study Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. Adopting a child from Ethiopia was not in their plans or on their radar. God did turn their plans upside down, inside out, and in doing, has taken them to heights and depths they never dreamed and has proven again and again that His ways are higher than ours, and that He is the one who does exceedingly abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine. He is also, as promised, the One who is always present. That last part makes all the difference.
We also have an interview I so love with Ron Hall, the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Same Kind of Different as Me, and one of the producers of the about-to-premiere movie of the same title. The movie premieres in Madison on October 19. We all need to pack the theatre that first week to show Hollywood that we really do prefer movies that have an uplifting message of faith and inspiration.
Don’t miss the Q&A with Pure Flix who tells us why they are willing to make faith-based movies. Support them!
Earlier in the summer, Charles and I were invited to a prescreening of the movie. We can’t wait to see it again. The convoluted history of racial strife in the South is long, tedious, and dark. This movie’s message, the true story of one woman who was so filled with the love of Christ that she literally loved her way into the heart of a very broken community of the homeless, hopeless, forgotten people of Fort Worth, is a story that can spark a movement for which our country is desperate. Government programs don’t transform communities. The love of Christ always has and always will.
I have had this reminder running in my head as we put this issue to bed. Remember C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe? I read that book to my son when he was in second grade. I regret that I didn’t follow up with the other Narnia books. Inconsistent person that I am, I never read it to my daughter at all—too tired by that time, I guess.
But I so recall the place where the little girl, Susan, inquires of Mr. Beaver concerning the lion Aslan, who represents Jesus in the tale, “But is he safe?” And Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Kind of a shock to our consumer-oriented culture, and an inconvenient truth if ever there was one. Jesus never taught safety. But He did teach life—abundant—on His terms.
Enjoy this issue. We did!