Rich Paxson

When we talk about our own faith in God we are talking about undergoing a huge psychological turn-around just like the apostolic group.
The phrase “… undergoing a huge psychological turn-around just like the apostolic group,” speaks to me. I remember also James, in one of his books, using an analogy to describe this turn-around, writing something like: ‘it’s like being dragged through a bush backwards.’

At this point in Forgiving Victim, I find ‘being dragged through a bush backwards’ an apt metaphor for this process of induction into new practice of God’s gift of faith. That is, the process of giving up self defensiveness, the process of responding in my daily life to the presence and challenge of God’s reliable love and forgiveness.

Discussion of Moses and the burning bush was a big help in changing my perception of the nature of faith and its practice in daily life. The burning bush happened along the periphery of one of Moses’s days. Moses ‘turned aside to see why the bush burned and was not consumed.’ According to the account in Exodus 3, God waited until: ‘God saw that Moses had turned aside.’ Only then did God speak.

The burning bush is one example of God speaking into a person’s life. God’s call to Samuel comes to mind as well. Just like the burning bush was unexpected, so also God’s call to Samuel was unexpected, coming during the nighttime margin of the day. Samuel did not recognize God’s call until the priest Eli told Samuel it might be God calling him. Eli told Samuel to respond by listening.

Good advice, listen for God’s call in the spatial and temporal margins of the day. Quiet the mind that was created and conditioned by the social other. Respond to God by listening. Begin the process of re-creation.