Archive for June, 2014
The great urbanist Jane Jacobs observed that the presence of children in the city is a sign of urban health. She was echoing the prophetic words of Zechariah who pictured God’s salvation in the earthy terms of a safe city: “The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” (Zech. 8:5).
That’s one of the reasons we’re raising our family in the city, encouraging other families to take the same adventure. I love the thought that simply the presence of my kids on the sidewalks and streets of the city is a witness, a little icon of God’s renewing work.
Which makes this photo a favourite.
Ours is an age of anxiety; we idolize security, seeking to live ruling out risk or failure. Exhibit # 1,043: helicopter parents hovering protectively over their children’s bubble-wrapped lives.
Doesn’t that seem a bad way to live? Jesus seemed to think so. I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Jesus’ parable of the talents, the master says to the cautious, one-talent servant “It’s a crime to live cautiously like that.” In the end, the Master did away with this servant: “get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb.”
Why? Because risk seems to be an important part of God’s economy of love; because you can’t love without risking; because love is the power that cannot co-exist with anxious fear – it drives it out. In God’s Kingdom, there’s a shocking freedom to risk because there’s nothing that can put you beyond the reach of God’s scandalously beautiful grace. I’m so easily seduced into thinking this is a dangerous world. There’s a weight of evidence that leads to question there is a good God at the helm. But Jesus keeps telling me the Father is good and keeps calling me to follow, to risk, just like God.
Because God is love, God risks. Didn’t God take an awful risk when he created us in the liberty of love, free to love and follow him or free to flip him off and reject him? Crazy risk; crazy love; crazy, beautiful God.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn asks a question I need to pose every day to myself: “If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?”
Think about that … and then watch the Flight of the Frenchies below. You won’t catch me walking a slack-line over a mountain gorge but the Frenchies remind me of the freedom that comes from living with a powerful awareness that I am held in the hands of a very good God.<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/31240369″>I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies) – Trailer</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/chamonix”>sebastien montaz-rosset</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>