they wanted it

So it found me.

I want to build a community.

I’m inspired by a guy who lived 2500 years ago, who wrote in his diary that he was cup-bearer and confedant to the Persian King and heard of Jerusalem’s affliction and couldn’t help himself.

I told you how ‘it found me‘ in a previous post and I’m grateful to everyone who read that and might even have been inspired by it.

This morning I read a post by my friend the faithful skeptic about ‘whose side is God on?‘ and I realized, because of the context, some might misunderstand what exactly it is that found me.

Nehemiah, the guy who lived 2500 years ago and who, through his diary, serves as inspiration for my current ‘foundedness’, impresses me with his ‘certainty’. He is in no doubt about what he should do. Perhaps, at the initial moment of his emotional affectedness, he only saw the vulnerability of Jerusalem and only wanted to rebuild the wall. Then as he was building the wall, he saw the empty streets of a desolate city and realized it needed to be repopulated. And as he was working on that it hit him that the city needs more than a wall and people. It needs a community who loves. A community who embraces and finds a new way of mercy and justice and kindness.

In fact if I read his diary I’m pretty much convinced this is how it went down, because it was only as he was working on the repair of the temple that he wound a discarded copy of Moses’ writings and read it and realized, goodness gracious, there is a better way of being.

So I’m not too concerned about something rolling out as it should. I think we do what our hand finds to do and one thing leads to another and another thing becomes the foundation for the next.

Nehemiah’s intention was a good one though and I imagine this is how it is, as our intention often determine the outcome of stuff.

Intention alone can do nothing. We have to work at whatever we pursue, but intention, I think, does determine direction and ‘way of doing’ and most often outcome.

So to be clear – my intention is not to ‘bash’ or ‘break’. My intention is to ‘build’, to ‘connect’, to ‘create’ and ‘inspire’.

It is interesting to read biographies, like Nehemiah’s diary. I see him building and I see people opposing his effort. Mocking what he is attempting to do, calling him and those who build alongside him ‘feeble Jews’ who are building something that can be knocked over by ridiculous foxes. Then I see them defying this mockery and completing their project, as Nehemiah says, because the people ‘wanted it’.

Now that I like.

This wasn’t Nehemiah forcing some grand project on lethargic people. It was an ‘us’, a ‘we’, conspiring and collaborating to do something they collectively wanted.

So when I tell you that ‘i found it’, I’m also asking ‘if you want it’, for it is only if you want it, that it will happen.


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4 thoughts on “they wanted it

  1. perhaps one could also add to this the “God” mandate … as the old wise saying goes; ..”the best made plans of man….”
    … but perhaps this ‘mandate’ is included in the idea you have already put forward of ‘being found’ (in this case by a calling/drawing from somewhere/someone/something far higher than just individual and collective need and desire – as valuable and as relevant as these are…)?

    • Indeed, Lloyd – although I envy God his willingness to include us in stuff, for it is a huge risk as we live not only from our relationship with him, but also from our brokeness, which often leads to ‘the best made plans of man …’ to be rather destructive or even short sighted, despite the best of intentions.

      That is what I like about Nehemiah, or would like to project onto his story, that he moved from passion into a moment & let it develop from there. I imagine his complete execution wasn’t ‘God’, for God might not have wanted Jewish men to divorce their non-Jewish wifes, but rather just wanted them to love them into a community which is fair & just & graceful & kind, although I would like to believe that that was Nehemiah’s intention?

    • If left to myself, Zuko, I would have been very different. I think the ‘not being able to help ourselves’ comes from his fingerprints on our lives, and mine, through you as well and for that I am grateful and even more inspired and hopeful that the ‘finding’ and the ‘wanting’ is not of myself, but of someone outside of me.

      I do love you. 🙂

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