the power of the ordinary

this past week i stumbled on a quote at my friend makeesha’s blog by shane claiborne (one of my favorite voices for change in the kingdom of God). claiborne said”:  “get ready, people, God has prepared you for something really, really small!”

oh i know that will really get the goats of so many people who believe the spiritual life is about moving mountains.  i am not discounting the importance of big dreams.  but what i have found is that many many people believe that because they aren’t spiritual giants they don’t really have anything to contribute to the kingdom.   we revere those who are doing big things for God and feel like losers when we’re not “making an impact.”  we have been taught by many people that we need to clean up our act before we can do certain things for God (nothing drives me more crazy than this).  we get tunnel vision and lose sight of this beautiful truth:  love can be simple.  and a little love goes a long way in a broken messed up world. 

my friend pam hogeweide, a writer for off the map and part of the bridge community in portland, is the guest editor of the porpoised diving life this month, an online zine that really has some great stuff. 

this month she explores the power of the ordinary.  ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary ways.  and the transformation that comes from that.  check it out HERE

my favorite articles are of course the interview with ken loyd , our friend and pastor of home-pdx in portland who has become a legend by basically just being a good friend.  and aaron strumpel’s song dove.  amazingly beautiful lyrics.  here are my favorite lines: 

i want to know a person like you

who’s not afraid to love the wicked and the poor

i want to know a person like you

who’s not afraid to touch the crooked and the whore

you’re not afraid of me…

i want to know a person like you

who’s not afraid to love the sick and the divorced

i want to know a person like you

who’s not afraid to touch the user and the falling apart


Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.


  • thanks so much kathy for your shout-out for this month’s issue of PDL. The power of an ordinary life has too long been underestimated. I think the hour of the obscure is upon us. Always has been. We’re just finally paying attention.

    I’ve seen that Claiborne quote around the blogs. Great quote. Sorry I missed using it in the issue.

    Deborah says the kingdom of God is an upside kingdom. Those who want to be great need to be small, like servants. Those who want to be first in honor need to choose to be last. Jesus is all about the everyday guy. This is, in part I’m sure, why he avoided the whole superstar syndrome. This must be why whenever he healed someone he would tell them, Go home, but don’t tell anyone I did this…For years I thought, Like Duh, how are they not gonna tell and how can you tell them that? Don’t you want to promote your messiahship with authentic miracles and healings? But that is not the way of the kingdom of Jesus. His is an upside down kingdom, one in which even the king himself does not create celebrity out of gifting.

    That’s part of what makes Jesus so effin amazing to me.

  • Hey Kathy,

    I’ve been following your blog for a bit, and I really appreciate so much of what you write. Your post today made me think of a novel I read about a year ago called The Magic of Ordinary Days, by Ann Creel. I don’t know if you read much fiction, but its a really poignant book that demonstrates the transformation that occurs even in the ordinary so vividly.

  • pam, i agree with deborah, the kingdom of God sure is upside down and somehow we’ve tried to make it line up with the rightside up ways of the success-oriented, bright and shiny, me-me-me-big-is-better world. i think jesus is so cool, so contrary in such a lovely amazing way.

    jessica, thanks for the book rec, i will check it out. i hadn’t heard of it so i am always happy to hear about new good stuff out there.


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