Tuesday, December 18, 2007


by Keith Giles

Several years ago a friend and I drafted a top-secret plan to communicate the Gospel of the Kingdom via subversive channels.

First we were putting together a twenty page magazine made up largely of graphic images which challenged the status quo in our churches, our community and our personal lives. Very few words would be included and our hope was to intrigue everyone who read it enough to notice the cryptic web address in the margin of every page of our magazine.

If someone were observant they would be taken to a secret web address where again a minimalist message would be presented in the center of the page, all by itself. In the first month the website would include only a single three minute video clip of a homeless family living in a motel in our community. That was it. The next month the website would include a simple directive which would lead them to seek out a specific edition of a certain book ("The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" for example) and ask them to find a hidden message on one of the pages which would lead them to the next clue found in a specific section of town. These clues would slowly lead the person through what we would term "The Wormhole" and culminate in a private conversation at a local coffeehouse at a specific time and date where only those who had demonstrated the perserverance to chase down the clues would be admitted.

At the meeting we'd present information regarding poverty in our county and allow participants to interact with these statistics in personal ways using the arts, scripture and quiet meditation.

The next month we'd release another magazine and change the rules again, and the website functions as well, and continue the experiment by turning everything on it's head and this time lead the curious to join us in a day of service to the poor in our community.

Even though this was all planned out years ago, the dream of doing this has never died for me. In fact, just the other night I felt a strong compulsion to revisit those ideas and even to share them here with you on the [Subversive Underground] list.

Maybe some of you on this email newsletter have the means to start your own "Wormhole" experiment in your town? Maybe this idea will inspire some of you to do something totally different, yet no less subversive in your own community to break outside the norms and begin a dialog of Kingdom issues with anyone who has a hunger to listen.

I have always been fascinated by the thought that the Messiah was a storyteller. I love the way that Jesus taught people about the Kingdom by telling stories which seemed simple on the surface, yet to anyone who was hungry for the bread of heaven it was like opening the warm oven of possibility and wonder.

A few years ago, largely out of this original "Wormhole" conversation, I started something called "The Parabolic Journal" experiment. You can see the results of that at www.parabolicjournal.com.

The idea was to launch these blank journals as conversations about life and death and evil and mortality and hope and the Kingdom. What began as one journal soon grew into an International version, a digital Journal, and more than five separate journals which scoured the nation from person to person as they shared their hopes, fears and dreams with everyone in the pages of the journals before mailing it off to the next person in line.

One of the most memorable entries was a woman who was dying of cancer. During chemotherapy she used the journal to chronicle her ordeal. She shared her memories of being a little girl and of being a mother herself. She thanked me via email for allowing her to express her pain in the journal.

A few months later she contacted me again and asked if I could send her another journal as she was having to undergo another round of chemotherapy as the cancer had returned. I sent her the journal and never heard from her again, until her daughter emailed me months later to apologize for not forwarding the journal onward. Her mother had died and she had found the journal in her mother's personal belongings. The daughter thanked me for helping her Mother endure her last days of suffering.

I did not know that woman, or her daughter. I have no idea if either of them were Believers or not. But I do know that I sent out each journal with a prayer that the Holy Spirit would speak to each person who received one and participated in the experiment.

As I look forward to next year I realize that there are hundreds of ideas like this one. Simple, out of the box, and if directed by the Holy Spirit, full of potential to touch hundreds of lives we may never know...but God does.

Perhaps this [Subversive Underground] could be a network of sorts, full of operatives like yourself who are inspired and empowered by God to creatively touch hundreds, or maybe just two or three, in the Name of Jesus next year.

If I can share an idea with you that inspires you to try something new, or if you are compelled by something I write here to go out into the World you walk through every day and carry the Kingdom in your smile, touch, or words, then I hope this encourages you to spend some time in prayer to God about what He would have you do next year to make a difference.

You are exactly the person God has chosen to be His ambassador in the place where you are right now. Only you can be who you are and have the impact you can have.

I hereby deputize all of you to go out into all the World and preach the Gospel. If necessary use words.

Peace (on Earth),

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