I'm finally getting into a book that several people thought I'd enjoy. It's called The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I can remember three people in this past year that when I've been introduced to them and explain my monastic desires and passions they say "Oh, have you read or heard of Shane Claiborne?" I've heard of him just never read his book. And then just this past week I heard about his inner-city Philadelphia community apartments burning down and Shane losing all his stuff and that's what finally pushed me toward beginning to find out more about this dude. And I've really enjoyed it so far. He's a lot like what I hope to be more of--very courageous, very radical and gospel-like, yet very simple and ordinary.
Three things in the past couple weeks have made for more thoughtful tension to brew inside my soul. One is getting into Shane's book, two is the trip to New Orleans to build a home and spending time with my friend, Mike Brantely, and the third has to do with my new job. I just began a (hopefully temporary) landscape/construction job where I work on reconstructing the landscaping of high-end homes on the south side of Denver. The house I spent most of today at is worth 8.5 million. 8.5 million! The homes I worked on in New Orleans costs the buyer $60,000. I can't fathom living in an 8.5 million dollar house and I'm thankful that I've never had to deal with that kind of wealth.
Shane Claiborne, New Orleans, and 8.5 million dollar homes make me question my/our American-deeply instilled- values. We grew up in a world in which we've been groomed as solid red white and blue citizen's to believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of what?....Happiness. What is happiness to us? And does our happiness coincide with how Christ asked us to live out the gospel. When I was in New Orleans spending time with Mike we had a similar conversation as I tried to process through this tension. He talked further about our conversation in this post on his blog.
So, tonight I continue to ponder Jesus' teaching about how difficult it would be for rich people to understand the Kingdom and how hard it is to be willing to sell everything we have (Luke 18:18-25). But the tension I feel tonight is good and purposeful and reminds me that He's still working on me.