becoming real

“This is the true story, of seven twelve strangers diverse, young Bostonians, picked to live spend the MLK weekend in a house, work worship together and have their lives taped laid out bare, to find out what happens, when people stop being polite, and start getting real. The Real World Boston Faith + Justice Network.”

No, definitely not The Real World. Nobody “hooked up,” no drunken parties, nobody arrested, thank goodness 🙂

But from Sunday to Monday, 12 young Christians from Greater Boston came together at a retreat center an hour outside of town to talk and pray about how we can join with God in restoring this broken world. We are the leadership team of the Boston Faith + Justice Network, a community of Christians covenanting to live in more just, God-centered ways.

We knew we had been called to deeper community with fellow Christians in Boston. We knew we had been called to participation in compassionate justice that seeks to restore relationships — human to human and human to God. The retreat — intentionally scheduled over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday — was to be about bringing to the surface some “next steps” or practices for us along these lines. We prayed together, read and discussed theology together (Yoder, Boff, Wright…), wrestled with our identity as a group, ate meals together, and played some great games (including a card game called “Capitalism,” which is almost as cutthroat as the real thing!).

By Monday afternoon, however, our conclusions were less about what we were going to do next and more about who we were going to be. We had all committed to stop living what Parker Palmer calls “divided lives”:

Inwardly we feel one sort of imperative for our lives, but outwardly we respond to quite another. This is the human condition, of course; our inner and outer worlds will never be in perfect harmony. But there are extremes of dividedness that become intolerable, and when the tension snaps inside of this person, then that person, and then another, a movement may be underway. (“Divided No More,” Parker J. Palmer)

This is a good place to be, I think. I’m excited about this next step in our journey and the journey of the Boston Faith + Justice Network, which, for now, is 12 God-chasers working toward less disparity between who they are called to be and who they are.


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