Saturday, April 16, 2005

Lines in the sand

We need more supposedly crazy people. "Crazy" like Mother Teresa. "Crazy" like Martin Luther King, Jr. It's the only way to freedom for ourselves and others. Mother Teresa said that Jesus appeared to her early in life. Too bad someone didn't lock her up back then before she really started acting crazy and loving sick poor people. Maybe she just needed some medication. I have a friend from law school who knows that he knows that God spoke to him in the middle of the night and healed him--he hardly believed in God at the time. He hasn't heard voices before or since. He and his wife are some of the most generous people I know, and he's worked for a federal judge, and now works for a super-high-end law firm. It's supposedly crazy by some standards to believe that Jesus was actually God in the flesh, and that he is for us, and is using the same power at work in Jesus to transform people. It's supposedly crazy to think God is involved with people, constantly, and to plan lives on that. Sanity doesn't really allow for an active, all-powerful God, whatever form it may take.

How crazy is "turn the other cheek"? It's bizarre. Try giving it as legal advice (and it actually is good legal advice.) How many people do that--actually love everybody, even a guy slapping them, crucifying them, confident in God's ultimate care and redemption? I'm not talking about not fighting back out of fear--lots of people do that--but about not fighting out of love for a violent person and out of trust in God's good heart toward us.

What are our fears? The ones that decide our jobs, our giving, our emotional availability; the ones that keep us "sane" in a thousand ways? What do we really value? I guess I could have said "brave" instead of crazy, but can anyone not willing to be considered crazy be all that brave?