The Simple Way

We had dinner at the Simple Way last Monday night.  It was somewhat surreal, I wasn’t sure what to think.  We really wanted to meet Shane Claiborne, his writing has had such a profound impact on our lives and our ministry.  His book The Irresistible Revolution was the spark that started us down the road of selling everything we owned and loving on the poor and marginalized.  The Simple Way is actually the non-profit (or they would say anti-profit) group that does a lot of different types of things to advance the Kingdom.  We actually visited the Potter Street Community, which is the intentional Christian community (or ICC) where Shane and others live.  Potter Street is in the middle of Kensington, which is a neighborhood of Philadelphia.  We have been in some pretty rough areas throughout our travels, but Kensington may have been the worst.  Their calling, like other ICCs, is to live in the abandoned parts of this empire and bring the Light of Christ to areas that are dark with poverty, violence and injustice.

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(Avery with Shane – sorry about the quality of the pics, we forgot our camera and there was no way we weren’t going to get pictures so we bought a disposable at Rite Aid)

He doesn’t like to be called a celebrity, and I wouldn’t call him that, but his impact has been so deep that I had a sort of reverence for him that I had never experience before.  He definitely isn’t a celebrity, I look at him like a modern day prophet, someone who has been given words from the Lord and feels called to tell God’s people the truth about injustice, poverty, and greed and how God’s love can overcome all of it.  The prophet Amos spoke about complacency and oppression of the poor in much the same way.  He was a simple sheep-herder who tended sycamore-fig trees in the Judean countryside.  He wasn’t the son of a prophet, he didn’t have any schooling, he just knew what God was asking him to say and he followed through with saying it: Israel better stop their complacency, their oppression of the poor, and their superficial religion because everybody must eventually answer to Yahweh.

Shane is a modern-day prophet who is saying: God’s people better stop their complacency, their oppression of the poor, and their superficial religion because the opposite is what Jesus has called us to.

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(Shane and Jamie Moffett – director of Ordinary Radicals)

It was really strange sitting on the couch in the Potter Street Community house listening to him talk about the Polish guy who had broken down on the freeway and that they had stopped to help him on their way back from the airport, or what the family was like that he stayed with at his last speaking engagement for Jesus for President.  It was strange sitting there in his living room as he talked with us and our kids and gave them dried fruit, chocolate and sidewalk chalk. I didn’t say much, I couldn’t help but just sit back and take it all in.  When we drew out the map of places and ministries we wanted to connect with on this journey, The Simple Way was the first one we circled.  As Serenity says, we have come full circle, but it feels like it is just the beginning.

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2 Responses

  1. this is UH-mazing! can’t believe you had this experience. i love it.

  2. This is so cool! I haven’t read your blog in a while (obviously) and just enjoyed catching up on the last month or so. It’s so encouraging to hear about all the people out there, doing what they’re called to do, and the beauty of their love. Keep it up! We’re praying for you all.

    By the way, E keeps randomly talking about “cousins” and saying all your kids’ names! You all definitely made an impression… =) Hopefully they’ll all be able to grow up together when we’re all back home.

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