dreamers, lovers, and status-quo rockers

dreamers lovers status quo rockers

this post is part of the july synchroblog – a bunch of bloggers writing on the same topic.  this month is centered on the wild goose festival, a justice-arts-spirituality festival held the last week of june in north carolina.  some of us weren’t able to make it to the festival (i would have loved to be there but my back is still healing and i just couldn’t do flying-across-the-country-camping-for-5-days-and-then-flying back). this synchroblog will include stories from the gathering as well as from those of us who couldn’t go, centered on what the wild goose (the celtic image of the Holy Spirit) is stirring up for us.  all of the links are at the bottom of this post, with more to come as they get posted.  its an awesome mix!

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when it comes to faith & life i am pretty eclectic.  i wrote a post about this last year called why i am a postevangelical-missional-emerging-ancient future-social justice-progressive-conservative-12 stepping-christian mutt. for me, though, if i had to choose i’d say that the most defining part of my faith–the center of what i believe–is the love of people & redemptive community.  the way i connect with God is through relationship with people.  but for a long time one of the “mutt” parts of my spirituality has been celtic christianity.  i love their value on the mysterious work of the holy spirit, inclusivity of women, and dedication to deep, intentional, authentic community.

the wild goose–the Holy Spirit–is alive and well, stirring up all kinds of amazing stuff around the world, in our cities, neighborhoods, and hearts.  while the Spirit has always been on the move, i think something’s blowing stronger right now that can’t be contained–a groundswell of hope for change in the landscape of “the church”

here’s what i see happening:

dreamers are bravely walking into the passions of their heart in all kinds of wild and beautiful ways. many have left what’s comfortable, given up money & power & security, been deemed as crazy and over the edge by many, but have gone for it anyway because we know we couldn’t not do what God is stirring up in us.  people are creating art, cultivating community, advocating for the marginalized, moving to new cities and countries, starting non-profits, building new surprising relationships, trying new ways of living.

lovers are putting people above programs and practicing the radical inclusivity of Jesus. love is prevailing.  many are losing their jobs, churches, and all kinds of other things on behalf of love and finding that the cost is worth it.  because love embodies Jesus.  lovers of grace, redemption and hope are taking the bumpier road of loving-people-regardless-of-the-risk and rebuilding and restoring our image of God–not only in our own lives but for others, too. many are feeding the hungry, loving the lonely, and restoring dignity where it’s been lost.

status-quo rockers are shifting the power structures in important places. this one is coming more slowly, but it’s coming. many are mixing up leadership, refusing to keep playing the same old games that defer to power and comfort, and are using our voices, resources, and gifts on behalf of change.  toppling long held power structures won’t come cheap or easy, but with the wild goose’s help, many are gaining courage and strength to stand on behalf of the undervalued, the marginalized, the oppressed and do what can be done to give others a voice.

yeah, that’s where i see the crazy beautiful wild goose at work–inspiring dreamers, lovers, and status-quo rockers to live out the wild ways of Jesus despite the hazards.

so many of you reading–many who attended the festival–are those dreamers, lovers, status-quo rockers. thank you for listening to God, for your courage & craziness.  you help my faith grow.

i think i’ll end with this, a lovely wild-goose-ish poem called “for a new beginning” from the irish poet/philosopher john o’donohue:

for a new beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

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other bloggers participating this month with reflections on the festival or on the wild-goose-on-the-move:

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

17 Comments

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  • Loved this post, Kathy – I so look forward to the day when I can begin to engage in these types of gatherings again. I’d rather go to WGF than any of the mommy-blogging conferences (even if I have forgotten how to blog about anything else…)

    Reply
    • thanks, sarah, i was bummed to miss it, too. just fun & lively & diverse & passionate conversation is enough for me! and oh how i remember the stage that you are in with all those little precious ones…they grow up so fast, so soak in every minute. it’s so hard to believe that a year from now i will send my daughter off to college & my oldest son is already gone. 3 more to go but it really does feel like yesterday i was right where you are. love from colorado!

      Reply
  • “many have left what’s comfortable, given up money & power & security, been deemed as crazy and over the edge by many, but have gone for it anyway because we know we couldn’t not do what God is stirring up in us.” <- Exaaactly. It is wild to me that in 10 days, it will be 2 years that I made the leap to pursue this dream. While the fantasy of what it would like has since been transformed to reality, haha, it is still so amazing. The reminders,such as this post, for sure help, but it realy is fuel for the journey to re-visit that it was God stirring in the first place. Sometimes, in the thick of it, I forget. 😉

    Reply
    • you are most definitely a dreamer, lover, and status-quo rocker! your story of risk and courage is so beautiful and i’m glad that we’re part of the unfolding..

      Reply
  • “the way i connect with God is through relationship with people.” We have discovered the same thing. It’s not through the stuff of traditional “church”, (even though some find solace and perhaps even connection with God through that means) that we connect with God, but through people – red and yellow, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, gay and yes even straight.

    Almost sixty people came to our block party Sunday. Our phone has barely stopped ringing since then. I’ll tell a few of the stories on graceground in a post tomorrow (nothing that would compromise anyone’s privacy). Here’s one:

    One neighbor told her elderly mother (who lives forty minutes away) about the block party and other things happening in the neighborhood. Her mother said that she wished she lived in this neighborhood, because there is no one in her neighborhood hwo she can call on if she is in trouble and needs help (we know her – she is borderline ready for a retirement center or something similar).

    Stupid me – I’d rather be here for a neighbor who needs me in a time of need than be handing out bulletins for a “church” service. That’s not a bad thing (handing out bulletins), but building relationships and being there for each other is the way we’re trying to go.

    Reply
    • oh how i love the beautiful simple things happening in your neighborhood that all start with love. pure, un-agenda’ed love. thank you for sharing. less loneliness, more love, yeah!

      Reply
  • Geese, hawks, eagles…yea, I know you love all of them…being the amazing bird lover that you are! 😉 Just so you know, I’m not necessarily a bird fan either…I just like the amazing symbolism and the way God moves and speaks through His creation. And, I’m hoping there are different kinds of geese that are “wild” that aren’t considered Canadian Geese because I think Canadian Geese are mean. Every time I run/walk in a park/around a lake it seems like there’s plenty of goose poop to avoid and they also seem to think that I should run around them or get out of their way and once in awhile…one will hiss! Mean Canadian geese. (yes, I realize this is probably the most random comment I’ve ever submitted) God bless you, PK.

    Reply
    • yeah, it is funny how i’m so not a birdlover but the imagery is awesome. and i love random comments (but not canadian geese, ha ha).

      Reply
  • So true! Very often fear keeps us from being lovers, dreamers, and status-quo rockers. Hopefully this post will encourage people to step past their fear and into a place where they can be so much more. I’m still working on it.

    Reply
    • thanks wendy, yeah, fear is definitely the biggest roadblock. i have heard this quote before but i came by it again last week–“every day do at least one thing that scares you” by eleanor roosevelt. i really want to live by that more. i wonder how different the world, the church would be if took that more seriously. thanks for reading & taking time to comment!

      Reply

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