I am fascinated by people who think and write about their life journeys. And if they have had some parallel experiences the more I resonate. I’m interested in how Christians think about expressing their faith through their lives. People who have lived some part of their lives in India especially in the Himalayas or who attended Woodstock School often have interests and concerns that are similar to mine. In this late autumn of my life I wanted to express my appreciation for the insights these seekers have provided me as I encountered them on the Web.
I ran across Jill three or four years ago. She was a young architect, designing schools for Himalayan village children. An adventurous young woman who also was a good photographer, she took well composed pictures of the Har-ki-dun mountain valley, a place I’d never been. But, above all, Jill was sensitively aware that she was put on this earth for a purpose. Her eloquent blogs attested to that. Her routine experiences were prayer like dialogues with her Creator.
Later, she made a pilgrimage to Africa for a short time to document the work of one group among many that seeks to make a difference there. Her photographer’s eye improved. There are some striking pictures from that collection.
Returning to California she is now making her way in life as a professional photographer. Jill is representative of the new Seekers. A word that describes the working out of their faith is missional. It resembles in several ways the early Anabaptist history of my own denomination, the Church of the Brethren.
Another is Rajiv. A Roanoke friend introduced me to him just this past year. He is an American military man with Indian parentage, serving in Afghanistan. He is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak, between two huge movements: the West and its basically hedonistic outlook on life and its bitter enemy, the small, fanatical and austere branch of fundamentalist Islam. His business is to conduct successful warfare against an implacable enemy. Yet, while thus occupied he muses about how to retain his humanity in such inhospitable circumstances. Miscalculation with such enormous force at his disposal can either take lives of his men or cause civilian casualties. It’s a delicate tight wire to walk. His blogs are earthy, entertaining, and informative. Rajiv understands his role in this pivotal effort, yet his blogs document in great detail that he is not just reacting but is thoughtfully proactive. If there is hope for success in Afghanistan, it will come from more who are like him.
Finally, there is the small but articulate group of bloggers who are living an interesting adventure as teachers at Woodstock School in the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s been interesting to follow them from their first impressions to settling in to the routine if there is such there. I recommend them to anyone who is interested in teaching there or even visiting in the area. This unique institution provides all who attend there the possibility of acquiring the third eye, that sees life from a more balanced perspective.