Semi-colon;

I’ve always been a dreamer.
As a child, this made me weird.
As an adult, this makes me weirder.

I’ve always had thoughts too big for my head, plans far bigger than my body, a sense of destiny much bigger than this world.

I was the nerdy girl with braces and glow-in-the-dark Star Wars shirts, the young kid that devoured Lord of the Rings like a pack of pop-tarts, the kid walking around crashing into people because her nose was jammed inside a book. My gaze was always wandering out the window during class, and I was notorious for my out-of-this-world imagination, my inability to pay attention and the fact that, even as a 3rd grader, I could write some nice science fiction. Why stay grounded in this world, as an acne laden teen, when I could be a freaking Jedi on another planet? Why tame my ponytail when I could cut it off with a sword and tame the dragon in one sweeping motion? Why be a loser in middle school when I could be a beautiful, twenty year old hero in a fourth dimensional realm?

As a child, this made me weird.
Really weird…..

As a child, I dreamed of being famous.
Not in the societal, Lady Gaga, red carpet kind of sense.
But.
People would read my books.
People would know my name.
People would hear my music, love my band, and see my face.
It would be great. It was destiny.

As a child, I dreamed of being a hero.
Full on sword-bearing braid-wearing warrior-status hero.
Someone known for doing something epically great.
For being that small town girl that rose up from the depths of corn fields to do something really unexpected, and really wicked awesome. Maybe saving the world from a catastrophic dilemma. Or being the only person capable of uprooting a horrible governmental system. Some epic where I’d travel on foot, alone, driven, with a cold stare and undeniable sense of purpose to become something greater than a skeleton covered in flesh.
Also, I would wear a cloak.
Like a cape, with a hood.

“How embarrassing. How embarrassing….” as Yoda would say.

For awhile, I believe my fascination with the supernatural is why spiritual gifts and radical Christianity were so appealing to me – with radical Christianity, it was real, and I was a real hero to real people, and I was communing supernaturally with a real deity. A real deity who loved me, and wanted me, and had a greater destiny for me than I could comprehend.

For the win.

Wrong.

Amongst almost every other stronghold in my life, the Lord has wrecked my view of what I thought Christianity is, and what I thought Christianity should look like.

I am not a hero.
Nor will I ever be a hero.
Radical Christianity is not heroic.
Anyone who truly walks in Christianity knows that it really doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with US, at all.

Radical Christianity is this:

My parents adopting a beautiful, orphaned baby girl from a communistic country to give her a family and a future.

My parents raising me to have morals in a society that doesn’t believe in them.

My mother’s ongoing, enduring patience with me that has lasted my entire lifetime.

My father pouring over his Bible every morning of my life at our kitchen table, taking chicken-scratch notes with a blue ballpoint pen on a yellow lined tablet of paper.

My grandmother’s ceaseless compassion and selflessness, clung to until the end of her life.

The old lady in the pew in front of me on Sunday morning who closes her eyes, worshiping to the very hymn I hated most my entire life.

A pastor’s dedication to loving a small, Mennonite church.

A thankful congregation that may be shrinking, but has spent almost their entire lives growing together and serving each other.

Brittany Collins buying a homeless man a meal and sitting down to hear his story.

A German girl from Qatar studying calculus at a liberal arts college.

A sweet girl at Princeton and a wonderful Penn State commuter who simply pray and live differently than those around them.

It’s waiting on the Lord, and being wrecked for the ordinary.

It goes beyond just hearing and believing, but into stepping out of the boat and onto the sea.

It’s not hipster and cool; it’s not wearing shirts that promote non-profits or walking in bare feet.

It’s not a missions trip, an intense night of worship, a 30-hour famine, or a seemingly-crazy decision :

It’s being faithful for years.

It’s the two blind men in Matthew who desperately cry out for the Lord, over and over, despite the incessant shushing of the crowd, because they know that Jesus will hear them.

Radical Christianity is hanging helpless, naked and martyred on a cross, humiliated and unattractive to the world, because radical Christianity is contingent upon one simple truth:

Jesus’ love.

None of the “on your face, on the floor, prophesy and tongues, crazy people shouting for Jesus” worship that I love would even matter if it weren’t held steady with love.
Missions would be pointless, and impossible, without a fierce and desperate dedication to Christ’s enduring sacrifice.
A calling to the world would be void without a foundation of Jesus that could withstand the calamity of culture and time.
The things that we’ve deemed as “radical Christianity” couldn’t exists without ACTUAL radical Christianity, because radical is a condition of the heart. It’s a state of soul, a spiritual infrastructure that should bleed into the physical realm and into our everyday lives; just because our actions are ‘radical’ and on the mark doesn’t mean that our hearts are. While our actions may not put our hearts in the right place, our hearts being in the right place will make our actions, even if our attempts are feeble.
Radical Christianity is seeking the Lord even when you don’t want to, and it doesn’t make sense.
It’s choosing to love someone you don’t want to love, when it would just be easier to walk away.
It’s holding your tongue when emotions tell  you to fight.
It’s loving Jesus when you don’t want to be, because it’s annoying.
It’s choosing joy in every trial.
It’s living a life of dedication to His love, no matter what that means for you.

Radical Christianity
can be summed up
With merely the
symbolic expression
of a
Semi-colon

;

because a semi-colon
represents a place where
the author could’ve ended;

but instead,

they kept going.

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One thought on “Semi-colon;

  1. Pingback: Semi-colons; No Place for Them in Fiction? | M. Q. Allen

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