Fading Into the Background

Some of you have been following my adventures in the nation’s capital. I got this email from a friend in the heartland who saw the CSPAN appearance. I love what he shares about his own transformation:

I thought you all came across very well and clear. I did wonder while watching it, how people (especially Christians) hearing these ideas and approach to this issue for the first time, would process it? I’m still amazed how the culture in western Christianity seems to breed this defense of truth at the expense of loving people. Maybe that is just the only outcome we ever get out of religion. The love and acceptance that Jesus lived in scripture is so easy to over look. I can’t help but think of the time I spent as an obnoxious Christian defending truth. It really is amazing looking back at this whole experience outside the box and how Father has change so much of that in me. I tell my girls often when they have been hurt by someone to never forget how it feels when someone does something hurtful to them and to ask themselves at the same time if they ever want to inflict that kind of pain on anyone else ever? It has been through things like this in my life Father really started teaching me about compassion.

For those of you interested in the follow-up to the press conference, the Associated Press did a story that hit 78 newspapers around the world on the next day. Focus on the Family covered it as well, and there was also an article in the Ventura County paper where I live.

When Sara read the AP article, she noticed I wasn’t even mentioned in it, nor was BridgeBuilders. She asked how I felt about that. I felt great. You see, I think the real purpose of a facilitator is to bring people together then step into the background. The story shouldn’t be about me it should be about the others who represent the constituencies that need to see this differently. Especially in this case. For the last year I’ve gotten the sense that BridgeBuilders may be winding down for me, and while I have loved doing it, I have so much more passion for the other things Jesus has asked me to do. So I really do want to work myself out of a job here. That helps. As long as we’re building something it is about us, and when we want to let go, it becomes about others. I don’t know if God is done with it yet or not. Time will tell. But I know it is much better for me to live with it having my hands wide open than grasping for what I think I need in it. That said, I’ve already accepted an invitation to speak to Washington State school board attorneys about this issue in April. Go figure!

When I’ve worked in various school districts, I notice the people quoting me a lot after we’re done. I always encourage them to stop. If the language has become theirs, there is no reason to assign it to me and it will be better for the community they live in if it comes from them. I won’t be around and they really need to learn to live this stuff with each other.

Interestingly enough, after I hung the phone with Sara I read John 3 in my daily reading about John wanting to decrease so Jesus could increase. That’s it, right there! The heart of ministry and even leadership in the family is to point people to Jesus and fade into the background. It isn’t to keep standing on the stage drawing attention to me and what I did, but to point the way to him and what he did. That’s our purpose in every life God gives us to touch. Help them see him and then fade into the background. Oh you can still be their friend, but you don’t need to be their mentor after that. Once they learn to follow him, let them go and see if Father has someone else for you to encourage onward in him.