I’m waiting at the Dallas airport for my flight home from three days in Louisiana and two in Jasper, TX. As wonderful as these last days were with two very different groups of people, it is always a joy to head toward home and those I love. So this is a day filled with fond good-byes and the rising anticipation of getting home to Sara, Lord willing, later tonight.
Someone asked me this weekend why I do this if I don’t love traveling. I’m going to let someone else answer that question for me. A couple of weeks ago someone gave me the following thank-you note that sums up why I do what I do. I know (perhaps better than anyone else) that the work she describes is not what Wayne does, but what God does in a heart. She was summing up what God had done in her life over the past couple of years of reading, listening, and crossing paths in the world both in her city and mine:
So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore was a life-changing book for me. Reading it was like putting glasses on and looking at something I’ve looked at all my life, but never really seen.
As a teacher, writer, and friend you’ve helped me to see beyond
Beyond religion, the church, and the law. Beyond the system, the building, the hierarchy, the leader. Beyond fear and shame. Beyond the program, the rituals, the schedule, the weekly meeting. Beyond obligations and expectations. Beyond “a thing with a name that has to be maintained.” Beyond the need to fix, the need to do, the need to solve and the need to prove, the need to know, the need to carry, the need to be heeded.
And beyond all these I’ve found rest, joy, adventure, engaging relationships and unfolding seasons and the reality of living loved.
“Seeing beyond” is exactly what I hope our books, articles, podcasts, and other resources do for those who visit here. I couldn’t put any words together to better express the hope I have for people with whom I get to spend time as I travel about.
I so enjoy watching people’s countenances change from their white-knuckled attempts to be “good Christians” to a relaxed follower of Jesus, confident in his work in them. I know these things express what only Jesus can do in the human heart. Unfortunately these things don’t happen in a weekend, but from a process of God reshaping our thought-patterns from the exhaustion of religious obligation, to the simplicity and power of living loved by the Father.
The reason I travel around a bit when I sense he asks me to do so, is to be a cheerleader for others as his work unfolds in them, helping them have courage enough to see the process through and not give up when it takes longer than they hoped and when they can’t yet see the fruit of the incredible work he is already doing in their hearts.