What comes to mind the week after KindlingsFest?
Full. The rich diversity of gifts and talents, the blend of wildly different personalities, the feast of ideas, the explosion of sound, color, taste, touches, and smells, and best of all, reunion with close friends and new friends for the journey… after K-Fest I am full.
Hungry for more. Yet I my appetite is not sated. I want an eternity of what I just had and getting a taste just leaves me wanting more. C.S. Lewis put it so well, “If I find in myself a desire, which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” When Dieter Zander and I prayed alone in the sanctuary and he prayed for heaven to come down now, I joined him in that prayer, but now I know it can happen. I have beheld the glory of God and God appeared in still small voices, in thunderous sounds, in expressions of unparalleled creativity, in the humility of giants, in the joy and laughter, in tears and burden bearing.
Alone. Some people have said that I really started KindlingsFest so I could get all my dearest friends together every year for a reunion. That isn’t what I aimed for or envisioned, but because so many friends are returning every year, this is the one time every year when I feel understood, loved and in the presence of my, for lack of a better term, “tribe.” For years I walked that dicey path as a Jesus follower described in my book, “Too Christian, Too Pagan.” I am generally “too irreligious” for my religious friends, and too “religious” for my irreligious friends.
But for one week a year I am with a whole community of people who march to the beat of the different drummer, who dance with the Lord of the dance. Honestly as I type this I am feeling a wave of sadness that you are all gone (expect those who live here on Orcas Island).
Sent. The taste I’ve experienced makes me want to prepare better meals with the loaves and fishes God has given me. It makes me want to cultivate locally what we experience when we gather from all across the country. And then I feel lonely again. Why do so many settle for so little? Why do I feel exhausted with the very thought of calling thoughtful creatives for whom God is of central importance, into vibrant local community? Why do I feel like I am trying to push a rock uphill, a rock that is supposed to roll? Why are beauty, craft, hope, joy, excellence, collaboration, selflessness, sacrifice, humility, graciousness, love acceptance and forgiveness, so rare.
Come Lord Jesus, please come to me and into the souls of my fellow Kindlings. Light of the world illuminate my dimmed path, little flame warm me as I go out into the cold, drummer please play loud enough so I can find the beat, Lord of the dance, show me those unorthodox moves.
(PODCAST SOON TO COME)