That was a whirlwind!
The National Prayer Breakfast was a bit of a mixed bag. We met some wonderful people, heard a lot of incredible stuff, but I still have very mixed feelings at how our government officials use a cloak of religion for political purposes. Some find that incredibly healthy. I find it a bit weird. On the plus side there were some great encouragement to help people who have so very little in the rest of the world. We heard about kiva.org, a way for people here to sponsor others in the developing world with micro-loans so they can start new businesses. It doesn’t just channel money, but build relationships. We also heard Ward Brehm share his spiritual transformation from arrogant businessman, to an impassioned advocate on behalf of the world’s poor and oppressed. He was very challenging.
We also heard a lot of buzz about THE SHACK, and often we sat at tables with people who had just read it or had recently heard about it and were trying to get a copy. We even had some incredible moments with people who are highly skilled in their professions, offering us their wisdom as we take the next steps in this project.
What a contrast all that pomp and circumstance provided, however, from my favorite part of the weekend. Saturday we met with free-range believers from all over that region. We had about 70 people from Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania gather in a home to meet my wife Sara, my podcast partner Brad and Paul, the author of THE SHACK. What a great day! I think people really enjoyed getting to know them and hear a bit of their journeys firsthand. We split up into smaller groups for dinner and came back, to continue to mix in smaller conversations, some of them lasting well past midnight.
It’s hard to encapsulate all that we talked about, all the people we met, and all that happened in our time, but it brings me great joy to see Jesus knitting his family together. We had people from all walks of life and in many different places on the journey. Some of them had only recently come in touch with Lifestream or The God Journey. Some were facing major transitions in their lives and needed counsel and prayer. Many shared their own journey and what God was doing in them. I think I can say we were all greatly enriched by the church Jesus is building and the part of it we got to taste that weekend.
I don’t think we have a clue yet what this family can really be like when we get the rituals and agendas out of the way and just celebrate our life in him. Believe me, I had more fun sitting in a home with 70 real people on Saturday sharing the journey, than I had in a room of 4,000, including some of the most powerful people in the world, over breakfast on Thursday.
I love what God is doing in the earth!