Saturday, June 18, 2011

Something Beautiful

Yesterday I saw something beautiful. Perhaps the emphasis in the
sentence should be on the words 'I saw,' for surely the beauty is as
present and ubiquitous as sunshine. Down a dusty road on the edge of a
cornfield in the middle of nowhere Mississippi, my friend Larry and I
were installing a pool for a retired nurese and her four children—four adopted
children. There were three black boys and one little white girl, and
they were more excited on this blistering June day than on Christmas
morning itself. All four children came from drug-destroyed homes. Born
into unspeakable abuse and trauma and pain; they were being saved by a
woman who simply said, 'it just breaks my heart.'

The kids grinned from ear to ear all day long as they played and
watched. They were remarkably well behaved. One of the boys had the
most beautiful smile I think I have ever seen. He wanted me to pull his
front tooth. The little girl thought the pool was coming from the sky.

'It just breaks my heart.' Who cannot see the origin of such a
life-giving burden? The retired nurse probably has no idea whose burden
she bears and loves, but I will take here over a hundred church
committees trying to create another kingdom for an absent god. The
other-centered, self-sacrificing, redeeming, hope-creating and saving
love of the blessed Trinity is not absent, but present everywhere, here
and now in the midst of the great darkness and its tragedies. Like a
vast, burning bush this world is alive with the glory of the blessed
Trinity.

Bless you retired nurse for giving your heart and life to participate.
You and your children are beautiful. May the kingdom of the blessed
Trinity and all its life flourish by your cornfield.

Next week I get to hear a disucssion on church growth.

"If you think of ten thousand things that are good and worth having,
what is it that makes them good or worth having, but the God in
them?" —George MacDonald

11 comments:

Erin said...

This is beautiful. I can't tell you how excited I am to have discovered this teaching. My brother in Adelaide (he's at Fishgate) told me about this stuff and recommended your teaching.

I have for a long time wondered why churches I was part of had no sense of the messy, rugged beauty of humanity. No one but me seemed to notice the beauty of grace played out in novels, movies, and real lives all around us. The humanity was missing. I loved humanity and was made to feel guilty for it.

I find it hard to even explain what it feels like to now understand what it was that I've been drawn to in people all these years but now I'm beginning to understand. It makes me weep. It has been Jesus all along.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and study with us.

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Thanks Erin, I will see you in October.

Erin said...

Sadly I am in NZ, so unless you're coming this way? Are you going to be in Adelaide then?

Dave said...

Wonderful here, Baxter. Unfortunately it seems that most of christianity these days is more full of being self-absorbed. And we have such a propensity for taking something truly of Him, truly good, and turning it into a program or a method.

Thanks for sharing this story of real grace.

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Dave, mark it well, when we finally meet Jesus face to face we will not ask him to forgive us for overestimating him and his place in the whole scheme of things. He is so much more beautiful and fundamental than we have ever dreamed. And he knows our name and likes us. Blessings brother.

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Erin, you can never tell where I might surface. I did not realize which Erin it was. Every blessing on you. How is the fishing.

Erin said...

Hehe no sorry... I don't know you at all. You might be thinking of someone else. My brother lives in Adelaide..I live in New Zealand.

Rich said...

I too loved everything about this story, thanks so much for sharing it with us.

I am learning that every good thing that resonates within me is only because of Father Son and Spirit living in my house.

His continued richest and best Baxter,
Rich

Anonymous said...

As a soon-to-be adoptive parent, I thank you for this post!

Emily

Catherine Morris said...

Baxter, I have recently rediscovered your teachings and am so thankful and so blessed. I just watched an interview you did on You're Included.

I started out as a radical, passionate, Spirit-filled lover and follower of Christ almost 11 years ago. I had lived without Christ for thirty five years in constant state of anxiety and despair, using various types of addictive behaviour to escape from the pain and chaos of my life. As a desperately seeking non-believer in recovery, I hid in a traditional church for four months before the love of the Father finally overtook me one day when I surrendered my need to understand the Cross and humbly invited Jesus into my heart. I will never forget the experience of feeling His love, like warm oil, pouring down on me and through me. What a surprise! In that moment it became clear to me, "Jesus is alive! And He loves me!"

Since that day I seem to continually forget that experience and revert to what seems to be a default belief that God is distant and is going to abandon and forsake me because He's discovered that I am not good enough. This is partly due to my own personal emotional baggage, partly personalizing people's criticism and judgement of me - but I think it also stems from my experience in certain streams of the church.

I found your Perichoresis teachings on iTunes a couple of years ago and listened to them over and over again. They resonated with me and comforted me and also helped me in my ministry to women in the Canadian prison system.

And now, during a journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment, I have realized once again my need for a revelation of the Father's love and goodness. Thank you for reminding me - once again - that I am loved and accepted by the Father, and that Jesus was not God's plan B for dealing with the fallenness of humanity. We have always been destined to be His beloved sons and daughters and will remain so no matter what we do or don't do to deserve it.

God bless you for your courage in spreading the Good News as it was intended to be shared. I pray that more people and more churches will hear this message - which is scripturally sound - and "get it".

Chris said...

Baxter... when I read this story, everything within me jumped up and down and screamed, "YES!"

It so saddens me when I hear Christians say that although this sort of thing is a good thing, but it's simply a humane act. I've actually heard people in the ministry I work with say that we as the church have to be careful that good deeds don't become humanistic.

I cant express enough how much this frustrates me. I've heard it said that if the Gospel message isn't included in the "good deed" then it's simply a humanistic act. My response to this is that this IS the Gospel being lived out! There's no better image of the Gospel message than this beautiful story of adoption.

Thank you for posting this message and for your ministry. It has changed my life and the way I view the beauty of the Trinity and life with Him.

Chris
Colorado, USA