Stumbling around the internet one evening, I found a couple of websites discrediting Martin Luther King, Jr. because the author considered him a communist. The author of the website could not understand how King could be a Christian, doing God’s work, and stand for the things that he did. The author has presuppositions about what a Christian looked like that kept him from seeing God’s work. I’m not equating MLK with Jesus Christ, but offering a somewhat similar story to how Boyd opens the final chapter. Sometimes we are too confused, too cultured, too reformed, or too broken to see God in our world.
This chapter is a bit of a tying up loose ends. Boyd addresses the elephant in the room finally: how the focus on the self is supposed to be used in the context of our lives in community, not just to ourselves. I liked how succinctly he answered these objections. If he had gone too in depth with the answers, he probably would have had to write another book. There are plenty of books about how a Christian should impact the world but this book was about seeing how God prepares us for the world we live in. I like his indictment of “healing revivals” and seekers who go only for proof. Boyd argues, correctly I think, that the proof of God and God’s miracles are all around us if we only open our eyes.
With that said, I scoffed at the cliché and cheesy story about the woman praying about how to serve the new worshiper and his money needs. I’m afraid I’ve heard too many of these stories. My roommate introduced me to the world of Formula 1 racing, and its greatest hero Ayrton Senna of Brazil. Outside of winning three (or four depending on who you ask) world championships, Senna secretly donated half a billion dollars to the poor of Brazil so he could better serve his God. Senna was known for climbing the fence to around the race medical clinic to check on his fellow drivers if they were hurt. During one race, a driver wrecked horrifically. Senna stopped his car, flagged down traffic and assisted the medical crews instead of finishing the race. He could see where God was even if it was at 200 miles per hour.
I constantly get disheartened by my own delusions of grandeur. I sometimes feel like I don’t matter because I have not yet changed the world in a way that will be written down in the history books. The simplicity of the Oz metaphor comforts me. I’ve had a heart all along. I matter because of whose I am and what God is doing through me, not because of what I do. I’m so thankful that it is God who does the redeeming and the righteous-making and not me. I’d never feel like I had done enough.
Some days it is easy to see God working in the world. Other days it seems that God has completely abandoned us. Hopefully now I’ll never forget God’s ever presence.