Wednesday, March 7, 2007

AM I BEING CONVERTED?

UNLEAVENED BREAD CAFE BOOK. Our Wednesday morning roundtable at Unleavened Bread Cafe is working our way through Shane Claiborne's book Irresistible Revolution. Claiborne and friends facilitate an intentional community in Philadelphia called The Simple Way and the book is a story of their journey so far. Here's a quote I highlighted to the group this morning:

NO LONGER CONFORMING. "Conversion means to change, to alter, after which something looks different than it did before--like conversion vans or converted currency. We need converts in the best sense of the word, people who are marked by the renewing of their minds and imaginations, who no longer conform to the pattern that is destroying our world. Otherwise, we have only believers, and believers are a dime-a-dozen nowadays. What the world needs is people who believe so much in another world that they cannot help but begin enacting it now."

SHOW US TRUE CONVERSION. "Then we will start to see some true conversion vans--vehicles that run on veggie oil instead of diesel. Then we will see some converted homes--fueled by renewable energy--and laundry machines powered by stationary bicycles and toilets flushed with dirty sink water. Then we will see tears converted to laughter as people beat their swords into plowshares and weld their machine guns into saxophones, and as police officers use their billy clubs to play baseball."

PRACTICE RESURRECTION. "For even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practice it. We can believe in CPR, but people will remain dead until someone breathes new life into them. And we can tell the world that there is life after death, but the world really seems to be wondering if there is life before death."

SCHOOLS OF CONVERSION. "There is the kind of conversion that happens to people not because of how we talk but because of how we live. And our little experiments in truth become the schools for conversion, where folks can learn what it means for the old life to be gone and the new life to be upon us, no longer taking the broad path that leads to destruction. Conversion is not an event but a process, a process of slowly tearing ourselves from the clutches of the culture."

1 comment:

  1. Back in February of 2001 I visited the good folks at the Simple Way. What an amazing, mind blowing experience. Here were these young people, giving their lives to life with the poor -- and their was such real and deep joy present. The other thing that was amazing was (and again it was 2001) they were wired to the hilt! Voluntary poverty. Government surplus food (which they would take to the end of the their block and share with their neighbors every evening). And electronic equipment that would put a top run Broadway show to shame (actually it was donated by a Broadway show that had just closed). Shane walked around in what appeared to be a franciscan's robe made out of long underwear. One of my favorite experiences there was to join them in prayer in front of their own version of the wailing wall in basement. Little pieces of paper with prayer requests were pushed into cracks in the wall. Some had fallen to the ground and lay scattered there...like pieces of bread, inviting God's presence. Very cool. When I got home I wrote them a letter and a few months later I got a note back from Shane with some dirt in the envelope. He told me that they had posted my letter in the bathroom so they could continue to enjoy reading it and that the dirt was from a recent pilgrimage he had made to Assissi (from the floor of the chapel there). What joy and playfulness and abundance they bear witness to!

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