Ordinary Radical

I’m not sure if Michael Horton and David Platt are friends, but I love both of their respective books, Ordinary and Radical, as they teach different valuable things about following Jesus. This week I was fitting back into Kandern’s summer routine while recognizing it’s quite different from my Oregonian or Kiwi life.

I teach pretty incredible students, so sometimes I forget that my life is rather unusual. From my perspective, I’m just doing life, loving Jesus, and teaching students. From the outside, I moved across an ocean as a “missionary” to teach kids from different cultures and I manage life with a spinal cord injury.

This week started with me still adjusting to my current time zone and waking up at a reasonably late hour to get up and enjoy my coffee and breakfast. I wheeled myself to Hieber multiple times this week as I kept forgetting critical cupboard needs like a full size toothpaste or toilet paper or brötchen (because that’s a necessity, my friends). I also managed multiple days walking my old loop along the river. Before leaving, I’d managed the distance with a long pause in the middle without my braces. I knew my stamina had improved a lot though I’d done almost all my Kiwi walking with braces, so I stopped for a couple minutes the first time no braces and was delighted to discover during the next attempt that I can now make the door to door loop with no sitting (and still no braces).

The heavy rain this afternoon kept me from going outside for my exercise, so I pedalled away on my stationary bike for a bit to get my legs moving. The movements matter, and I’m excited about the trajectory of more motion in addition to other healthy increases in my work schedule. Since I’m teaching an additional class this coming school year, I’m spending this month doing light prep work to be set up for success when I get students at the end of August.

Part of that prep is annotating a copy of The Poisonwood Bible which I’ll be teaching this fall. Annotating good literature is ordinary to me, but the radical story of heartbreaking misrepresentation of Jesus reminds me that I live a radical life just being loving to those around me while I simultaneously take care of my slowly recovering body.

Another radical ordinary bit of my life was the return to choir this past Monday. The lovely women welcomed me back with open arms as I stumbled in my greetings with my broken German. Their generosity of spirit reminded me that I’m allowed to receive loving kindness from them in order to continue to extend loving kindness to other. Or, as I learned from the Kiwis, “Arohanui mai arohanui atu.” This past year was a gift to have more attention to focus on caring for my body, and my prayer request this week is that I won’t loose sight of caring for my body as I reintegrate all the other responsibilities and language learning back into my ordinary radical routine.

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