“We have become jaded, incapable of wonder and awe. This lessening of impressionability may be a sign of maturity, a necessary and healthy consequence of progress. But I tend to think it betrays a loss of equilibrium. A truly balanced person retains a capacity for wonder and the willingness to express it in the very confession of creaturehood, the spontaneous acknowledgement that he is a human being and not a god, a being with limitations who, far from having embraced infinity, is happily and hopelessly engulfed by it.” Brennan Manning
Seems appropriate that I’m reading this book during Halloween week, the most foolishly silly time of all. It’s my privilege to work at a school that embraces the art of dressing up and allows its students and teachers to wear costumes to school. We even get to parade them through our little downtown during the school day. Which I think is fabulous. Because school has become so very serious and can be a real drag some days.
I love October 31st because it’s the one day of the year we have society’s permission to be uncool and foolish. We get the stamp of approval to change our outward appearance and embrace a character or persona beyond the norm. As long as everyone looks silly, its OK…right?
This little book, written by a very wise fool, is teaching me the art of foolishness. Being foolish is easy on October 31st when its an accepted cultural norm. But on a normal day, nobody wants to look foolish when they are standing all alone.
Brennan reminds me that godly wisdom will most often look like foolishness to the world. Speaking out for justice when no one else is. Walking boldly beside rejected and broken souls. Standing firm when the storms rage outside our hearts. Pouring life into the cracks and crevices of this dark world.
It all looks stupid to those who don’t know the Why.
We have friends in Texas who have been handed a beautifully foolish vision for their future and they are chasing it like jesters in the Kings’ court. Ryan and Holly have collaborated with others to create the Pure Hope Foundation which will eventually provide second stage ‘host homes’ for victims of sex trafficking here in the US. (Please like Pure Hope on Facebook!) They are risking it all for this calling. Job security, financial stability, normalcy. All for the sake and privilege of being called a fool for Jesus. And they’ve never felt more alive and full of joy.
The upside down ways of Jesus will always look silly to the world. He actually promises that the only way to real life is our willingness to risk humiliation, to sacrifice and even die to ourselves. How more foolish could we be! But therein lies the beauty of the gospel truth. Sacrifice is a privilege, death leads to life.
Sounds like a good story in the making!
“The journey to transparency requires that we humbly acknowledge, before God, that we are inordinately preoccupied with security, pleasure, and power. It requires genuine compassion for others when we see them acting out their addictions and emotion-backed demands; it is our inner solidarity in darkness that reduces self-righteousness and irritability and makes compassion possible. The journey to transparency beings with an honest confrontation with the truth, which is not something we acquire, but Someone.” —- Brennan Manning The Importance of Being Foolish