“Wanted: A bold adventurer who would love to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk … A keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners. This multitasked position will take you places you can’t even imagine. Apply only if you’re ready for everything to change.”
Thus begins The Cracked Spine (2016), a “Scottish Bookshop Mystery” by Paige Shelton.
I was transfixed. I couldn’t finish the page. My mind was racing; my imagination, soaring. A bold adventure – that was what I have been experiencing for the past few years. In truth, throughout my life I had been secretly longing to become “a bold adventurer,” instead of just being somewhat venturesome – investigating and “search[ing[ for things thought lost” in order that they might be returned “to their rightful owners.”
“What lost things?” you ask. The God of compassion and tender justice, hidden among the theological verbiage of over-powering intrusion (and even violence). Yeshua visible in the earliest strata of the church’s witness — the radical, mystical, passionate advocate for the poor who had been trampled on by both church and state – hidden, almost invisible, because of the successful pursuits to clothe him in spectacular power and transform him into a God, denying him his true identity as Humankind’s Child. The wild and untamable Holy Spirit – wind and wildfire, tehom (the “deep waters” of the Hebrew creation story) – domesticated as a support system for charismatic preaching and a way to pep up worship services. Those are just a few of the lost treasures that are being found.
What “rightful owners?” you inquire. To the followers of Yeshua’s Way; to participants in the basileia theou (the commonwealth of peace and justice); to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6); anyone whose “whole being thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:2). They are the rightful owners, the ones for whom the prophets teased Israel, the “little children” that Yeshua called models of the commonwealth of peace and justice (Mark 10:14).
“Apply only if you’re ready for everything to change.” Expectations change; perspectives change; beliefs, too; and feelings. The wandering becomes a journey; the journey, a pilgrimage; the “believer,” a true child of humankind and a participant in the commonwealth of peace and justice.
Interested! There is plenty of spaces left. Leave all your baggage at the station and hop aboard. You don’t need a ticket because tickets are for those going to specific destinations. Your journey, my journey, will take us through uncharted territory and give us occasion to explore marvelous mysteries. Where will we end up? In the richness of a community of wholeness and integrity with self, others, and nature; the abundant life.. That is a lot to expect… And yet it seems to be part of our DNA to expect it, long for it, desire it, pursue it! Such is the heartfelt core of life; such are the treasures that await the bold adventurer.