Posted by: rogermitchell | December 23, 2011

The ecclesia as counterpolitical activism as it relates to the creation

In the last post I took note of six areas of engagement in relation to our understanding of the ecclesia as counterpolitical activism. The first of these relates to the creation. I suggested that there are two ways in which we need to get to grips with this, one practical and the other theological. The first is the responsibility of the ecclesia to initiate and support action to stop the exploitation of the earth’s resources, and the second is the question of how the kenotic love between God and humankind relates to the rest of creation. I think there is a significant nettle to grasp here, which I expect to result in a few stinging responses!

In his comment on the post before last, Chris Bourne makes an interesting link to Richard Bauckham, who develops a hermeneutic of the relation between humans and the creation from the creation story. While I like the way it earths the human race in the creation, I have problems with this kind of exegesis because of the way that it is arrived at via human rationality rather than coming first through the incarnation. I’m always uneasy about aspects of empire coming in through that door! From my perspective, as surfers of this blog are getting used to of course, we need to centre our hermeneutic on Jesus, which rather than make things monotheistic and theo-centric places the love relationship between God and the human race together at the heart of things.

Until we separate our understanding of the divine from domination, which arguing from Jesus to God enables us to do, even the gospel testimony of Jesus regarding the creation can seem very human centred and abusive of the creation. Something which leads John Caputo in his book “The Weakness of God” to refer to actions such as stilling storms, feeding crowds, healing the sick, and raising the dead as “rouged” spectacular presence and “profane magic.” But once we see God as fully kenotic we discover the fourfold relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and humanity at the heart of creation. Or to put it another way, the love relationship of God and the human race sits in the midst of the creation, which is forever its home. So the remedy for the perversion of God’s love for humankind into a domination system which has raped and abused the creation, is not to place humanity and creation on the same horizontal level but to recognise the creation as the priceless gift of home to be reclaimed and renewed. As I see it, the ecclesia is supposed to be serving at the forefront of this work of restoration that is the task of the human race in preparation for an ultimate transfiguration into a new heaven and a new earth.

While there is no doubt in my mind that we need to work urgently both to correct our abusive relationship with the creation and to seek its restoration, it is hard to believe on current evidence that this alone will be enough to save it, as Cheryl’s comments have often reminded us. But if I am right theologically that the creation exists as the context for the kenotic love of God and humankind, then we can also derive great hope from the expectation that actively pursuing kenarchy will bring a renewed grace into the creation as a true “benevolent hand.” This is in stark contrast to Adam Smith’s destructive so-called “benevolent hand of the market” or Darwin’s survival of the fittest. So from this standpoint when Jesus tells his disciples to seek first the kingdom of God and their essential needs will be met, it was this restored relationship with the creation as the home of the trinity and humanity that he was talking about. This makes sense of Paul’s statement “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19).

I think Chris Bourne is onto something in his comment on Bauckham when he senses that “the doxology of creation just feels like a key to understanding somehow.” If I’m getting this right, the inclusion of humankind in with God makes the love relationship of the trinity and humanity the centre of creational doxology. However there is a heartbreaking poignancy in this thought because instead of reciprocating and fulfilling the outpouring of praise we have rejected and violated it beyond description, and made it look as if God were the cause of all the exploitation and destruction. The great challenge is to return to the glorious calling to be the active stewards and protectors of the priceless living home that God has given us.


  1. I’m not so sure I’m with you Roger on your theological status chart with God/Jesus/Spirit/Humanity as all together while Creation is just our nice nest, or our nasty one when we foul it. But being very practical minded I’ll run with it. There are two questions this raises for me.
    1. What should I be doing as an individual in relation to creation? Creation, the planet and its atmosphere is in trouble right now. Not to say it all won’t survive the human species, it will. But rather that the conditions that have allowed the human species to evolve, prosper and flourish are now at an end due to our own actions. So we are not in a situation where simply living the status quo is sufficient – radical readjustment of our lives is required if creation is going to healed or remade in a way that supports not only us but a diversity of species. (side note: I read an article yesterday – we have destroyed so much habitat and sent so many species to extinction that scientists figure it will take 10 million years for the earth to get back to what we had.) So we have to think, constantly about how we live. We have to live repentantly in relation to creation. The decisions and choices we make are critical. And it means some aspects of our lives will be less convenient or easy. Because we not only need to cut back on C02 emissions for example, we actually have to cut back as far as we can possibly do so. Of course, in the past year, emissions rose dramatically until now a 2 degree rise is now a pipe dream – we are headed for 3 or 4 degrees. Some choices we can all make: dry your clothes outside on a rack, walk or ride a bike or use transit – lose the car, eat more or completely vegetarian, and please – no more fish and seafood (we have fished out 90% of the oceans if we want fish in the future, other than jellyfish we have to stop eating fish. Now!), put solar panels on your home, heat your water with solar panels (it’s foolish to pay to heat your water when the sun will do it for you), grow some of your own food, join a CSA and help out a local farmer. There is lots more and lots of info on the internet to help you figure out how to live with less and to be healthier while you do it.
    2. What must we do collectively, as the ecclesia, to promote care for creation? That’s a tough one, after all, most of what claims to be ecclesia isn’t concerned about creation at all except to exploit it. Whole theologies exist to bolster that behaviour. I’ve been mocked in church for even suggesting we pray about the environment. I’m not sure much of that which names itself ecclesia cares two hoots about the environment with the exception of some of the more liberal demoninations. I wrote a booklet a few years ago, a series of Lenten meditations on humans and their relationship to the environment, the celebration of the Sabbath and social justice – all wrapped up into one. The Presbyterian Church here in Canada wanted it and used it. However, at the time they sought to tone down the passion of my words. Later they told me they realized that they should not have done that, the urgency of the situation (this was 2004) demanded more than the ‘nicer’ version they had published. I think it is still available from them if anyone wants it as a basis of thinking about all of this.
    Collective action? Political protests? Do I join (Bill McKibben is a Christian)? Do I organize things at the college where I work presently? I tried to set up a shared eco-home but I think that hasn’t worked so well. Our household as a whole isn’t committed to the changed lifestyle. We are a house divided on things like outdoor drying racks, use of cars, where we shop, and presently the orgiastic consumption of the Christmas holiday (a large, plastic xmas tree has found its way into the common living room – ugh). In response, I’m in hiding in the basement. Eco-homes don’t work well as collective action without real agreement as to what individual and collective action looks like. So that requires a bit more work.
    In light of the enormous crisis we are in at the moment what kind of action do we take? And we are in a terrible crisis. I think of this as a ‘all hands on deck’ moment except that a large proportion of the hands are down on the lounge deck reading fiction. What gets them (Christian, church-goer, or otherwise) moving? I also think of humanity right as painting our toenails while drowning. We spend our time arguing over the colour of the toenail polish rather than working to save ourselves. Of course, at the moment anyway, it is mostly the poor who pay the price for climate change so this is actually a huge social justice issue. And that leads us to the real, deep reason why we can’t address this situation. Capitalism, as it is now organized, cannot stand if we are, as a global community, going to care for creation. It’s impossible. A linear system of exploitation predicated on continual growth is antithetical to the realities of this planet. So how does ecclesia collectively demonstrate a different economics, one that cares for creation? And if I can’t even get an eco-home of 3 people to work how do we do that on a larger scale?
    I find Christmas now makes my spirit shudder. In the name of a poor, homeless, jewish baby we indulge in every sort of way, for days, even weeks. This baby was born in a barn – the home of animals. He was born surrounded by other species. I suspect there is something for us to learn from that.

  2. just found a great article on Alternet that explains what an environmental economics would look like and the history of this kind of thinking. It is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of change. c.

  3. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m at home with a heavy cold rather than at a family party, so seems like a good moment to comment on your recent blog, well, the theological part of it anyway…! [Thanks Cheryl for your much more practical response, which I found very thought-provoking, though I have effectively overlapped with you!]

    I’m savouring the thought of the earth being my home, realising my Christian upbringing taught me that this world was emphatically not my home, rather it was a place I was ‘just passing through’. This is deeply ingrained in the evangelical psyche, I suspect, and therefore not easy to over-rule. As always, the deeper psychological roots of a problem hold more sway than mere theological understandings! Hence the apparent ‘thickness’ of the ecclesia’s response to ecological problems that seem so self-evident to nearly everyone else!

    May I suggest some issues with respect to our human relationship with the earth, though there’s nothing revolutionary here, I’m just thinking out loud.

    1. The muddle of earth and world is problematic. The word ‘world’ with its wider, pejorative connotations of the human systems that have been created has overlaid our thinking of our home planet. And since the world is fallen, it is viewed as standing under judgment without any temporal hope, while we are privileged to have access to the new creation now. Whether it is conscious or not, the Christian community does seem to regard the ecology of the earth as a lost cause, perhaps experiencing judgement, and are happy to leave it in ‘God’s hands’ to re-jig all in His good time! It’s part of the platonic-dualistic thinking we use to absolve us of responsibility to act now. Both the OT praising and NT groaning of creation are marginalized or lost in the normal Christian thesis, which looks backwards and forwards but rarely knows has a response to what is happening physically to the planet right now. Having lost our sense of connectedness to the earth, we throw the earthly baby out with the worldly bathwater! We find it hard to view this present planet we live on as in any way part of our new creation eschatology – or more to the point, for there to be a here and now imperative within it – so we reduce it to a temporal, functional stage for us to play out our human-centric story.

    2. And then there is the story – one that places humankind in the centre of the cosmos, in blind, intimate, love relationship with the Creator – like starry-eyed lovers oblivious to anyone or anything else. This is monstrously arrogant and out of kilter with both the nature and purpose of Creation as fulness and the Godhead as gloriously kenotic, missing the point that Love is by nature poured out in every way and all directions. We just don’t ‘get’ the wider richness of the created order we have around us – both seen and unseen – and how worthy it is of our creative interaction, unconditional blessing, and, yes, our love. We could do with unpacking more of what the ‘all things’ of scripture might include in this respect. Actually, the main clue is in our genes. We know from science that we really are genetically connected to every aspect of life on this our home planet, and we need to overcome our fear of becoming pantheistic, and rediscover the oneness we have with our home.

    3. And from genes to atoms, earth to cosmos! Science also teaches us that we are not only made up of atoms but that every atom in our bodies is connected to every other atom in the universe. There is a weak gravitational pull between all atoms, and so when I warm my hands, say, the electrons in them change their level of orbit in each constituent atom ever so slightly, and, since no atom can exist at the exact same level around the nucleus as any other anywhere, that shift causes a corresponding change in every other atom in the universe, ie in the whole of creation! So even within the bounds of scientific understanding we are connected to the cosmos profoundly and inextricably and need to embrace that as a wonderful endorsement of our identity as part of the whole created order…

    My cold streaming now, ‘nuff said, merry Christmas! Phil.

    • thanks! c.

  4. Darn it! Why do the really juicy ones come up when I can’t respond properly!

    I’m in Germany at the moment, fighting the system again, and trying to get my wife to stop fighting it, she is now very seriously ill with the return of the leukemia and the way it Is bringing all its rotten friends along with it. So if prayer is inspired, please be inspired for us. We have hardly started our life together and it cannot end so soon.

    Ref Bauckham, and just for clarity. I have not read this piece yet and am not highly motivated to. I am sure he is more nuanced than the reviews of the book suggest but I don’t see anything particularly groundbreaking in the premise, and I doubt very much that there is a future for the argument that pitches the old and new testaments off against each other in this tired old way.

    Where I particularly agree with Roger, without him actually saying it I suspect (I have only scanned this thread briefly) is that there is a Christological centre to the whole area of creational concern. It begins in the issue of image bearing, the defilement of image and the image based motifs of Jesus and the Father. There is a restorational (not restorationist) issue at work. The redemptive task is barely hinted at in the Genesis narratives but it is there. If Tom Wright is correct then humanity as God’s image bearer is described primarily in the role Adam occupies, their task. This, insofar as it has been lost within other concepts such as exploitaton of creation as an industrial resource, remains as an objective in the context of new creation.

    I wish I knew what I meant by talking about the doxology of creation!! I think it has to do with our present state and conditon. Because humanity shifted position in relation to the earth and in relation, therefore, to the process of husbandry and custody, does not mean that the earth shifted. In other words, the praise of creation itself, the rocks that cry out when we are silent, are calling us to come back into place, into harmony with the doxology that rises endlessly from all that God has made. So this has to be an image bearer issue, and there can be no doubt but that this motif in the NT is meaningless unless it is about Jesus, the perfect expression of the fulness and so on.

    • I realize that the dual context of this post might be a challenge to some. I hope it is sufficient to say that right now, engaging in pleasant company on blogs like this is helpful to me given everything else. Especially when I feel far from home and very much alone in the face of unsane opposition.

      My point, though, is Roger’s final comment.
      ‘there is a heartbreaking poignancy in this thought because instead of reciprocating and fulfilling the outpouring of praise we have rejected and violated it beyond description’- This is so exactly the truth of the matter. I am a little ashamed that this will not answer Cheryl`s essential realism because I would love to be able to do that, but I cannot identify at present with search for methodological answers. This is an issue of spirit and of the prophetic, something much larger than process is at issue. The only analogy that comes to mind is when we consider the scale of the issues at stake at the time when God says that his answer is that ´he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children’ or when his description of the time when all is restored can be summed up with the idea that when the perfect has come we will no longer ‘speak each to the other saying Know God’.

      Somewhere at the heart of all this is the issue of heart. The seat of repentance, certainly, but also the ground of miraculous richness for the seed of the kingdom. Process, for once, I believe, is something we will only realize in hindsight.

  5. Chris: I am fully with you on the repentance thing. Big time. One of the things I’ve noticed in conversations with Church-goers on the issue of care for creation is there appears to be no repentance, ever. It is as if the church and by extension many christians have no means of addressing what we have wrought except through denial, either in words or in actions (while still affirming the possibility of climate change). I noticed this hardness of heart years ago and still have no answers for it. A friend of mine says that the real issue is that people’s god is too small. They don’t actually believe that God can address the problem, hence we don’t address it with Him.

    A few years ago the fashion was for deep repentance from the fathers to the youth, from the elders to the young ones and a cry to care for the next generation. I always found such displays disturbing and bemusing. I was bemused mostly because I never once saw anything specific named as something to be repented of. It was simply a generalized need to repent. But without specifics there was no way to change behaviour. All one needed to do was beat the breast, cry aloud, kneel or whatever emotional outlet presented itself and it was done. You could get up, walk away, and leave cleansed. Or something.

    I remember, into one of these events I interjected that perhaps prayer for creation was appropriate and hey, we elders could always repent of the state of creation we are leaving as an inheritance to the next generations that we obviously care about so much. Huh? My suggestion was greeted with disdain. No one really wanted to repent, especially not about what we have done to the earth, upon which the future of all future generations rests. No, not really. So I have a deep suspicion of the fad for repentance that I’ve seen in the church. On one hand people love to repent. On the other hand hearts appear to be very, very hard and there is little repentance in terms of change in life style.

    But here’s what I mean by engaging in actions, what you refer to as my need for a methodological approach. Am I into the real? Yes? I am not into God as worker of magic or one who promises that. I believe we are to actually engage in actions that at least show something of the Kingdom of God. And that God honours those actions (I hope). I do not believe in the fantasy of rapture and rescue from our mess. So yes, I am a realist. Quite. The answers we come up with have to make sense and apply to real life. I actually think that is the message of the incarnation. God is real, God can and does get down and dirty. God is not just up there, out there, and away from here. So magic is out. And some kind of action is in. Why? Because the way we live, the actions we take both signal to others our repentance about the state of this planet and they ultimately work a change in our hearts. In other words, the quickest way to actually repent of something is to start acting as if you repent of something. If we all acted as if we repented of whatever spiritual malaise has led us to treat creation so badly, I trust, because I understand how humans can be so easily resocialized, our hearts would actually be changed. If arguments and sermons and whatever will not change our hearts – actions just might.

    Roger, I just got a copy of your book. I hope you actually received some money for the price I paid for it. I intend to finish the last few pages of my own dissertation before I start into yours.

  6. Ah yes, I recall those public confessions with a sort of wrinkly feeling in the stomach. I did not doubt the sincerity or the sentiment, but I do remember wondering where the required transfer of power went. It seemed to go no further than the occassional appointment of a younger person, like a junior elder, a little replica of a real leader.

    I’m right with you that repentance is concrete and expressed in change of behaviour and in language. But the story is not really in place yet. If the story that says ‘look what we have done… this has to stop’ is not producing the repentance it is probably because this is not really the story of creation’s worship. Perhaps we need to imagine more deeply the dynamic of doxology and creation as Paul has it in Romans, What does it mean that the glory of God can be seen in the earth?

    • I posted before the brain stopped dancing! I was shying away a bit from the conclusion that was facing me. What do you think about this?

      If the manifestation of God’s glory in Paul is as deep as the related passages indicate (that creation is groaning in its wait for the manifestation of the sons etc) then we might have to explore a way of describing our relationship to the earth in a language that is very close to that of our worship of God. In other words, go much deeper in the task of removing the gap between the physical and spiritual but also the shape of the distinction that surrounds divinity. (I am thinking in terms of narrative here).

      Previous attempts to work like this have usually resulted in a form of panentheism, but for my money this is something that has been problematic not because it has been considered and rejected but because narrow orthodoxy has not properly considered it. I think this sounds a bit like Chesterton but you get my drift.I woner if Wolfgang Pannenberg (forget the spelling of his name) might be worth looking at again.

  7. Keep that brain dancing Chris – I’m absolutely with you on this. We have misunderstood creation. We have not understood creation in relation to God and in relation to us. And because we have been so afraid of stepping out in our thinking/relating we have ended up in a worse place. What is worse – worshipping creation as a collection of divinities or trashing it in the face of its Creator? Frankly I think God is more offended at trashing rather than misplaced care and love. To love creation is to love God and by extension one another. And that actually works out in action. When we treat creation rightly we end up not polluting the places poor people live, or depriving many of resources so the few can indulge.

    That is why, in my first response to this blog I questioned Roger’s absolute relational hierarchy of God (as a trinity) and us in the dance of love surrounded by a glad hearted creation. I think creation, all of it, is in the dance too. There is no way that creation, as an extension of God’s self, is sitting outside the dance as a pleased (or displeased depending upon our behaviour) audience. Creation groans because we choose to be in wrong relationship with it. Actually, I figure creation long ago ceased groaning and moved into shrieking in pain and outrage.

    A deep repentance means humility towards God in how we approach Him and each other. And it means a deep humility in how we approach the rest of the planet. Pantheists might have something to teach us even if we don’t want to end up there.

  8. Just a few things to add to this important discussion.

    Firstly, on the question of repentance. For those who have known me for some time, you will know that I believe identificational, or intercessory, repentance to be central to what the cross is about. As I see it, there the trinity stood in the gap for the consequences of human sin against God, the creation and other human beings. There may have been a subsequent fad, but there was and is the real thing. For me, it was particuilarly about Western sin and was highly specific, involving repenting for many colonial atrocities which I wrote about with Brian Mills in the book “The Sins of the Fathers” (Sovereign World 19990, still available from £4.99). It was this that opened up my whole understanding of church and empire and brought me to do the research into its roots. I am also convinced that this intercessory season precipitated the decomposition of the Western church and the accompanying economic system. But while I certainly still believe in this kind of repentance theologically, and agree that it is necessary towards the creation, and that we failed to see that adequately, I also believe that the prophetic season for this has shifted into a season of activism. So while we nay need to redress the failure to repent adequately towards the creation, now is the time for practical action.

    Secondly, while I stand by my understanding of the creation as the context for the love relationship between God and humanity, I need to underline the point made in past blogs relating to the relationship between God and the creation. That is to say that I believe it to be ‘ex theou’, and most definitely not ‘ex nihilo.’ So I see the creation as something like a first stage of incarnation, with the creation of humankind and then God becoming human, as its fullness, which is probably not very different from the panentheism Chris talks about in his last comment. I am not positing a hierarchy of God and humanity over creation, but recognising a creational process and purpose which has been tragically interrupted and spoilt. The fact that God has now identified with his creation completely fills me with hope. The first fruits of resurrection, namely that there is a resurrected human body at the heart of God, convinces me that the whole creation cannot fail to be resurrected and made new. So as we repent for despoiling the cosmos and move to action in conserving and renewing it, it is in sure and certain hope of a new heaven and a new earth. This cannot be allowed to be an excuse for not being radical enough in our action, but it will determine the context and character of the actions we take.

  9. Roger: ex-theou I can certainly live with. In fact, in terms of reality, I think that is what I live with. There is a psychological theory which understands that how we as individuals decorate and manage our spaces – our homes, our rooms, our backyards – is ultimately an extension of our persona. I think of creation similarly. It is an extension of God’s persona. I guess that has huge implications when you think about it in terms of how I treat the rest of the created order. If I live in such a way that I am continually destroying it then I am at some level acting against God’s person. To care for creation is to actually show my love for God. If that thinking really informs my lifestyle then I think I am going to need to do some hard thinking. Yes, I already live car-free, tv-free, most print media free (saves trees), I carry my own water in a metal water bottle. I dry my clothes outside when possible. I use non-toxic stuff to clean my house and compost my food scraps. But something tells me I have yet to make the real shifts needed to give God’s wounded creation the loving care it needs right now. c.

    • I am keen to avoid process based thinking on this matter, at least, in that rather unconvincing methodological, cause and effect sort of way. If we did that we would calculate the effect of your lifestyle in terms of carbon footprint or some other dubious measure and quickly lose hope of lasting change.

      What excites me is in these choices and actions as acts of worship. This is to do with the power of sacramental ways of living, those deeply grounded acts of normality invested with meaning far beyond that which is apparent in the act itself. A little like those celtic prayers for the hearth in the home and all that would be embodied in the place of the fire and the cooking pot.

      This thread is important for me because this is largely how I came to faith well over forty years ago. I am a country boy, raised on the farm and in a glorious landscape. A slightly solitary upbringing in comparison with many of my contemporaries, but never a lonely one. I had fields and forests and seasons and critters. So when I first heard Jesus name spoken with respect when I was in my teens my reaction was simply, “Oh that’s what you are called!” At last a name to put with something I had lived with all my short life, in a world that had always had personality and meaningful presence.

      The creation narratives always spoke to me of a joyous surge of energy, I identified with those stories as an artist, as a story teller.Those phrases ‘Let there be, and, oh yes, and then let there be, oh, and then there could be…’ Are the sounds of an infinite imagination realizing. For me we have always lived in the imagination of God.

      But we also live within stories of our own invention and this is why I still stress the narrative not as just as a mode of history or way of understanding but as a way of shaping and making. Martin has put one of my older posts onto the new essay section at the foot of his blog where longer lasting posts can remain and continue to shape dialogue. In that post about imagination I stressed how the very idea of government as being something that is for the people, that has social responsibility is quite surprisingly recent. This is a new story historically speaking and it is still only partly formed, and frequently challenged. But it has begun!

      Simultaneously another set of stories began to be formulated, especially in America. The narrative that has created modern consumption, that turned the earth finally, perhaps, into an industrial resource began to take shape and its progress has been much faster and more thoroughly embraced.

      My point is a simple one. We talked ourselves into this mess, perhaps we can talk ourselves out of it again. Perhaps a new narrative can emerge which restores the sacrament to creation and in this story it is the children of the kingdom who should be in the lead, not trailing behind gaya and not paying lip service to scientific stories with the sort of discomfort that comes when we feel as though we are speaking a foreign language.

      • Chris: you are right about the need for a Kingdom narrative that allows us to well, just enjoy creation. I too grew up in a rural area. I spent most of time, as the eldest of 4 with a mother who died young after illness, wandering by foot or on a horse, alone through the landscape. I felt so at home and still do in such places. The move to city life, intentionally in response to God, was difficult and is still difficult after many years.

        You are right about ecofootprints and individual actions. Nothing any one of us does, alone, will make sufficient change. But I like the idea that my use of the outdoor drying rack, or the 2 hour, one way, 3 bus commute that I endure 4 times a week is actually an act of worship. It is also an act of love, love towards creation, other species, other people, and yes, Jesus. Though some days, it just feels like drudgery – getting on a very crowded bus to stand for 30 minutes after a 20 minute wait in the bitter cold. I’ll have to keep that worship aspect in mind this winter.

        I think the aspect of care for creation and our lifestyle choices as worship is important. Because the only way a (re)newed creation will come about is through prayer and many, many miracles. So we need to approach this all in the right attitude. Yup, my individual acts matter as they indicate where my heart is on this and my level of repentance about all that we have done to creation. To take the bus, rather than own and drive a car, is an act of intercession and identificational repentance as well as worship. At one level it does not matter much which actions I take though I suggest that if Kingdom people are the leaders in this, it might mean a fairly significant lifestyle change to reflect the seriousness of the situation. But what matters more, is that led by God, I do respond, I do humble myself, I do repent, I do worship. I think the narrative you are looking for is shaped by our actions and experiences as we experiment with the call on us. We act, we reflect and speak/share, we create a bit of narrative, we act out of that and so on.

        Okay, so now I feel a bit better as I face down a term that starts on Monday, 4 days/week, 4 hours commute/day for 3 hours of teaching. Winter. Buses. . .

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