Twenty-five or so years ago, when I became a Christian, I had very little idea that the story it was telling addressed more than the brokenness of the world and of my own person. Like many others, I slipped in through a door rather crudely labeled (in my mind, at least) “Not-Hell.” I had only a vague notion of the Christ who had purportedly unlocked it.
But if it was like coming through a door, that door opened onto a wide country, and the traversing of each valley and the summiting of each little hill has only yielded a view to more beyond—more to ponder, more to rejoice in, more to stop one dead in one’s tracks in sheer awe. The story rings truer with all that I see and know of the world and of humanity and of life every year.
Christianity isn’t a political construct, a tool of societal manipulation, or an ideology hobbling about on twig-thin stilts of rational argument. Neither is it primarily a story of good/bad, religious/secular, or safe/not-safe.
It is the true story of a rescue proffered to anyone who has the eyes to acknowledge evil on a scale as massive as mass genocide and as ordinary as selfishness in the heart. It is the story of a God who has never overlooked the grave consequences to which our condition and our stubbornness *ought* to lead—and yet it is a story of a God who has made a way for us out of the trajectory of death, if we will have it. If we will have Him.
And His plan has never been to pluck a few middling followers out of a fractured world and leave them, happy in the knowledge that they are at least not bound to its circles forever.
Rather, there is a deep work going on within them and through them, like small but unmistakable tremors of a coming gladness—of the promise of resurrection following hard on the heels and maiming the maw of death. Of the earth, after its long turmoil and eventual destruction, being made new.
This work is the emphasis of the Cultivating Magazine and The Cultivating Project. You can see and hear that emphasis depicted in this video released in the new Autumn issue. It’s a joy to travel with these folks—and to find Cultivators scattered about the world in every place.
This piece was first written and shared on Amy Baik Lee’s Instagram feed and is republished here by request and with her generous permission.
Click here to find Amy Baik Lee on Instagram.
Amy Baik Lee writes from a desk looking out on a cottage garden, usually surrounded by children’s drawings, teacups, and stacks of patient books. She is a former scholar of medieval and Renaissance literature at the University of Virginia, a sometime author of devotional short stories, and a current member artist of the Anselm Society. Ever seeking to “press on to [her] true country and to help others to do the same” (C.S. Lewis), she posts essays and stories about Homeward longing at Amy Baik Lee.