Tuesday, January 23, 2007


PATTERNS by Keith Giles

In my dreams I am writing a book. I am creating art. I am writing new worship songs on my guitar.

In my dreams I am deeply spiritual. I have an obsessive compassion for the poor. I daily die to myself and embrace the Kingdom of God.

But lately, when I am awake, all of this feels like an echo of a former life.

Scientists say that every ten years or so each cell in your body dies and gives birth to a replacement cell which is identical, yet not the exact same cell, as before.

I feel like I can remember the person I used to be, but I am having trouble "being" that person again today.

What happened to me? What needs to happen to me? Am I sleeping? Was I dreaming before? Or am I dreaming now? How do I wake up? Why are there so many question marks on this page?

Why do I feel so disconnected from myself lately? Am I just mourning the loss of my old life patterns?

In some ways I feel like something is wrong with me because I'm not daily involved with ministry to the poor around me. This affects my spiritual development. This challenges my self-imposed identity and my personal sense of ministry.

If I look at what God has done in my life over the last year I can see He has changed our former patterns and replaced them with a new algorithm of faith.

First He called us out of the traditional church pattern and into a new pattern, a new wineskin of sorts, called "House Church". Secondly, He called us to live missional lives, serving the actual neighbors who live along our cul-de-sac in our new house, in our new town. I cannot deny this. I cannot look away from this new pattern that has emerged in our lives over the last year.

Yet, I feel guilty because these 2 new patterns don't involve, specifically, caring for the poor.

I drive by the now abandoned senior home where we once served, where I used to teach a weekly Bible study, where we prayed for the sick and sang hymns with our friends. They are gone now. Some of them live in different senior homes, some of them have passed on. I mourn for that time. I miss that opportunity to give, and to share, and to be stretched, and to grow.

My family and I, along with one other friend, still serve each month at the motel in Santa Ana where we've been for about four years now. But most of the families we were closest to are gone now. Another church provides a weekly breakfast there on Sunday afternoons and in some ways our service there feels old and superfluous.

Maybe I am living in the past? Perhaps I'm needing to look to the future? Better yet, I think what I need to do is to live in the present; in the "here and now" of the Kingdom of God.

Maybe there's a better way to live out the patterns of House Church and Missional service to our community while still caring for the poor? Maybe these three things are not really three things? Maybe this is all one single pattern and I have yet to discover it because I'm on the upbeat of the previous pattern?

I am praying now that God would show me His new pattern. I feel like it's right here, just beneath the noise of my own breathing. Like a still, small voice, whispering to me in the darkness.

Until I can let go of what I have known before, I won't be able to see, or to hear, the new pattern that God has begun to tap out in my soul.

Quiet now....quiet...I can almost hear it....

Kent Williamson's amazing documentary film is not to be missed.
"If you've been born in the fog, how can you know that you can't see?"

*Os Guinness *David Ruis *Rick Muchow *John Thomas
March 9th and 10th in Anaheim, California
"We can only fail them if we do nothing..."

"It's time for the Church to listen first and talk later...if at all."


1 comment:

Wade Huntsinger said...

WOW, Keith you realy shard your heart. I have felt some of the same things. I think that is why we are hitting the road again. We desire to spend time together and re-focus on God's Will. Perhaps the unsatisfaction might come from the Lord so that we might change our focus. If not then we perhaps would never change. You are aware of your surroundings so that is good. You are searching as are we and that is good. We both are seeking and that is good. I have your phone number prgramed in so if we get to OC I will surely give you a call. Would it not be incredible if we were there on Sunday. You never know my friend. Be safe and blessed,