If someone took the time to write a letter straight from her heart to yours... would you take the time to read it? And if that same person traveled 500 miles that very day, to stand face to face with you, eye to eye, to express something to you from the depths of her heart...
And not only that, but to express the hearts of many who have turned away from everything the world has to offer to get back to the roots of what man is made of... and why... And who are continuing to give up all the things that have been painfully wrought and woven through their personalities, to be able to stand together, come what may, come what may...
Who have gone back to the roots of the tree that has been cut down twice now — first old Israel, and second the new Israel that began in Acts 2, whose stump has stood fixed in the ground, with the same life as always lying dormant... Waiting... Waiting, oh, so long... Waiting for just the right time in history to send up its third and final shoot.
That is a people who were not a people, a nation who were not a nation, a new thing! The prophets of old spoke of it. Moshe in Deuteronomy 32:21 said to Israel,
They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
And Peter said to the first disciples in 1 Peter 2:9-10,
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness, into His marvelous light. You once were not a people but are now the people of God, you had not obtained mercy but now you have obtained mercy.
And Daniel said in Daniel 2:44,
…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and consume all these other kingdoms and it shall stand forever.
We are those who responded to the same unchanging words that God spoke to Abraham when He told him to walk away from everything and just go... And God Himself would lead him by the hand to begin that set-apart nation. Abraham’s very acts of obedience established the foundation of this spiritual nation, upon which it would be built, and stand forever.
Ever since that time the same message to leave all and “Follow Me” has been heard on the earth at certain times, when the waters were stirring, to gather together a people from every walk of life, every age, every race, across all boundaries, to be a witness of something the world has not yet seen. It is simply this: love.
So far the world has only heard rumors of love, and seen pretty good counterfeits. Well, I take that back. Once, 2000 years ago, when the Man who was filled to the brim and overflowing with love for His God, and with God’s love for man, was on the earth, a few people caught sight of His self-denying love. But the masses were so jealous that they couldn’t counterfeit His love that they murdered Him. But it all happened so that His Spirit could be released to gather a people and be able to dwell in them, so that a lot more than just a few could witness His amazing live. That was what He told his disciples after He rose from the dead:
“This gospel (the same one Abraham heard, and the rich young ruler heard, and the many at Pentecost heard, and the apostle Paul heard, and the captives in Babylon heard when they were being called to go back and resurrect Jerusalem after their discipline was over), this gospel of giving up everything, denying yourself, and following Him, must be proclaimed to the ends of the earth as a demonstration, and then the end will come.”
This is the only fruit God has been looking for. That is why the tree had to be chopped down twice before. It wasn’t bearing the fruit. He said, “You will know them by their fruit.” But they stopped producing the fruit that He begged His Father for just before going to the cross, that His people would be one, just as He was one with His Father. That is the fruit that would be the demonstration for all to see, to the ends of the earth, so that the world could righteously be judged. But you have to give up everything you are bound to, and bound by, in order to be free to love like this.
Isn’t that what we wanted in the ’60s? Isn’t that what the Pilgrim Separatists wanted when they fled the tyranny of England? Isn’t that what any movements that have failed or been squashed down throughout the centuries wanted? What did we really want? Did we get it? If we had even caught a glimpse of it, would it have stopped us dead in our tracks? Would we have ditched everything to lay hold of it? If we really wanted it? Would we sell all, abandon all, to buy the field where we had found the treasure? Or to buy the biggest, fattest pearl on the planet? Would we break our only alabaster jar which contained the very essence, the sum total of all our years, and pour it out on His feet? If we found His body, would we slip into His skin, our own lives washed away, forever drowned in the sea of His forgetfulness, along with our sins and selfishness? Or was all we really wanted just a good time?
What drives people into dark corners, hiding behind sunglasses, hoods, and just one more drink? Is it possible to find life? He said, “If you lose your life for Me, you will find out what truly satisfies, and keep it!” What is there to lose? Loneliness, misery, guilt, futility? Empty visions played out, and so what? What can you do but just get swept along anyway?
How hard can a human heart get? Its not hard to imagine, with all the unfaithfulness, cynicism, and bogus religions there are our there. So what if someone said, “Hey, Bobby, there’s this lady outside who wants to tell you something. She said something about a place to belong, to be... long.” Could it find the slightest chink in your armor?
We’ve been together now for about forty years, a family, in love, pressing on. This is the place where the lonely can find a home and the misfits can fit. Paupers become princes, and princes become real princes. A place to love and be loved. Wanna join the fight against injustice and selfishness? It’s actually happening.
Years ago I gave someone one of our papers to give to you. I don’t know whether you got it. I think it was in Foxboro, like ’86, ’87, ’88...? Before that, my husband and I prayed for you every single day for years. We haven’t given up!
Anyway, I wrote this letter during part of that 500 mile drive, cuz I realized I was probably going to be too late to get to see you. So it’s probably disjointed, but it is real. And I am here, in our big maroon-and-cream colored bus, the Peacemaker. You may have seen it before. That’s us.