So we are moving into the city!
I would love for you to engage with what I am sharing by commenting, suggesting, disagreeing, questioning and telling stories of your own journeys and experiences.
The short and simple answer to why we are moving to the city is simply that we have felt our hearts stirred by God and wanted to act in obedience to His call. For some of you this might sound pretty normal, and for some of you this might sound like we are perhaps in need of a psych check-up. And yes, I agree to make a major life decision based on an ethereal “stirring in our hearts” alone is somewhat irrational, so here are some of the considerations and questions that could provide a slightly more concrete, rational footing to our decision making process:
– We noticed how often we would suggest solutions and give opinions “on behalf of” those who are poor, oppressed, marginalised or powerless rather than actually asking them about their experiences, stories and ideas. We realised the need and necessity in our own lives of a more sustainable way of listening to people who find themselves in these situations. Living in middle class – actually to be honest, relative to the rest of South Africa and the world, it would be more correct to say “upper class” – suburbia limited our opportunities to do this in sustainable ways.
– We believe that Jesus is the perfect expression of what God is like. We believe that He demonstrated the ways of God as very often “upside down” to the way we are doing things in the world right now (more about this in future posts) and thereby invited us to imagine what life would be like if under the loving rule of God. Asking “what if” questions helped us catch glimpses of what such a different life could possbily look like…”What if we had to stop believing that bigger is necessarily always better for us and instead of buying a bigger place in a “better area” believe that moving to a smaller place in a “bad area” could possibly be better for us? “What if living in homes with high security fences to protect ourselves and our privacy is actually not the best thing for us (or perhaps even for our country)?” (see my post on faith filled imagination for more on this point). “What if we believed that we could learn about love, joy, peace and reconciliation from spending time listening to the experiences of the “least of these” rather than compulsively google the powerful self-help gurus or download stacks of American best-selling authors or preachers’ podcasts?
– We grew tired of saying and thinking about what a “Jesus” way of life would be and never actually daring to try because we are too worried about the risks involved .
Those are just three of the many considerations and questions we have wrestled with over the last couple of months and years. I know that our reasons and motivations might be fallible, naive and oversimplifying very complex issues. I realise the fact that I have many blind spots and unsophisticated policitical, soci-economical and even theological ideas, but I would like to be as honest, vulnerable and authentic as possible in sharing this journey with you. So please bear with me!
I hope to reveal more of our process and start telling more stories of our actual experiences so far in blog posts to come.