Whatever may have brought you here, searching for something to do in a world that is broken and twisted, welcome to the club.
In this nameless club we aren’t perfect. We realize what’s broken and backwards and, if we’re honest, most days we struggle to do anything more than push out a tweet and send up a prayer. Yes, we’ve been on the wrong side of things in the past, crawling our way through and praying for open eyes. We’ve argued when we should’t have and justified things that weren’t worth it. We’ve probably swallowed our words when they should have been set free. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we are learning to follow a better way.
In this nameless club we often feel like outsiders. We have felt displaced and stuck, sometimes simultaneously. We have faced crushing disappointment in people and in systems. We have prayed and cried and clenched our fists, wishing we could flip tables, but settling for turning the other cheek. We’ve been repulsed by the words of leading people and now we aren’t comfortable wearing the labels we have before. So we’ve set up camp on the outside and we are committed to pulling others into the kind of grace that doesn’t stay inside a holy building or fit perfectly under any label. We have felt like outsiders looking in, but we’ve chosen to be followers looking up.
In this nameless club we can see what’s broken but aren’t always sure what to do. We have carried aching hearts for the state of our communities and our world. For those who feel less than. For those who have been dismissed or reasoned away by faulty beliefs. We have grieved over lives lost, lives marginalized, lives discounted. And many days our only retort is to open our hearts and souls to listen. To listen more. To listen better. It takes a daily choice to look past issues and see people. To place value on each individual and to treat each story with dignity. We aren’t always sure what to do to bring healing, but one thing we will never stop doing is asking and seeking.
So here’s to the Nameless Ones:
Here’s to the misfits. The imperfect outsiders, won by love and hoping to win others. The ones on their knees in prayer instead of pining in front a television. To the ones who’ve grown uncomfortable bearing names that don’t radiate mercy and redemption. Here’s to the ones determined to be agents of justice and makers of peace. Here’s to the ones who choose to listen, to give, to be last. To the ones who deny themselves and sacrificially lay down weak labels to pick up a more cross-shaped life.
Here’s to the Nameless Ones.
The ones who aren’t perfect but are learning to practice a better Way.
♦ The Nameless Manifesto ♦
May we build longer tables and raise up less walls
May we store up good works and let our every prejudice fall
May we fling open our arms before we ever open our mouths
May we learn to truly see people and be seen ourselves
May we welcome the refugee, the rejected, and the poor
May we be comfortable with less and generous with more
May we follow Jesus well and live for the reason He came
And, most importantly, however nameless we may be,
May we carry the Name.