I just found out through Arloa's blog that Shane Claiborne's home and the homes of eight families in his neighborhood burned down last night. Their website has a summary of this disaster and some pretty disturbing and beautiful photographs of the conflagration.
Most of you know that I consider Shane my nemesis ever since I read his book, Irresistible Revolution. With his life, he has been able to do what I know would be best for me, but have not yet had the courage to do. Because of my jealousy for that, he is my nemesis. I credit him with being the catalyst in the chemical equation of events that is now sending me to Africa tomorrow (no new blog posts until after July 5, sorry). Shane has been great about his nemesis status, laughing about it when my dad sends him links to my blog about it and sending home a great note with him from a board meeting they both attended.
He is also a great public speaker, displaying humor, charm and love. The seminar of his that I attended at last year's CCDA conference was so full of the Holy Spirit that I sang with other Christians and loved it. Rare, I know. He actually served communion after his presentation, providing bread and juice. You could choose from bread from the store and "redeemed bread" that came from a dumpster. He started singing songs I knew like, "I love you Lord and I lift my voice to worship you, oh my soul, rejoice. Take joy, my king, in what you hear. May it be a sweet sweet sound in your ear." I haven't sung that since high school. When it died out, random people started other songs spontaneously to fill the quiet that could be sung without a worship band while each of us went to take communion when we were ready.
He turned a conference seminar in the middle of a boring hotel room with those moveable panels for walls into worship.
A worthy adversary.
So, there is an empty pit in my stomach that he has lost everything he owned, even if he believes it was important not to own much. I also feel an emptiness for his neighbors, under-resourced people who didn't have much more than a social network to begin with. I am assuming there is very little fire insurance involved for these eight families that might now have to move away from their greatest resource: their community. Thankfully, no one was hurt, even of the 170 fire fighters who fought the blaze.
Please pray for The Simple Way, Shane and his neighbors. If (like me) you are moved to make a donation, that information is available on The Simple Way's website.
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