“Imagine if we lived radical lives of faith that were in alignment with what we profess to believe!”
If God is so good, why didn’t you come sooner?
You’re right. God does love you. I’m sorry it took me so long to listen.
— VIA —
Caine’s session was more inspiration than seminar, so there are no additional notes other than the one above that I really appreciated. Her thesis was essentially summed up in the title. I have several thoughts, however, regarding this talk that I believe are worth considering.
First, regarding the quote above. I wish she had spent more time on this point. This seems, to me, to be the most real answer anyone can ever give to the theodicy question. This also seems to me, to be the real struggle in the battle for the mind of Christians. I hear frequently the ideological hesitations, capitulations, and justifications for why we’re not more involved in justice and righteousness (Isaiah 5, et.al.). I believe this reality deserves the fierce inquiry, “Why does it take us so long to listen?” Perhaps we are just theologically careful. Perhaps we are theologically arrogant. Either way, I pray that the time between hearing and heeding is lessened in the Church so that God’s Kingdom can truly be advanced.
Second, several times Caine, throughout her talk, mentioned her “passion” and her “Greek” heritage as synonymous for her ability to “preach” (and preach she did…very well too.) I believe we are misusing the word “passion,” mistaking “personality” and “ethnic heritage” for “presentation” and calling it “passion.” “Passion” does not equal, what my wife called “Jesus cheerleading.” “Passion” does not equal “inspirational talks given from a stage.” I believe–if I may–that the word “passion” ought to be recovered to mean something deeper and more real than someone’s public presentation. As many of you know, it is linked with the word “suffering,” (from where we get “compassion,” – “to suffer with”). It has been said that passion is the degree of difficulty one is willing to endure for the sake of the cause (and variants of that).
Now, I want to make clear that Caine’s presentation was deeply inspirational, and her personal story is one that needs to be told, and one that ought to be shared. I truly am thankful for her talk, and perhaps it spurred others on to continue in hope even when it seems like despair. I am just exhorting all of us to point out that the truly “passionate” people are the ones that continually suffer, day by day, for the sake of their cause, purpose, goal, etc. (which, by that definition does include Caine and her ministry work). Too often I hear people say, “I’m not passionate.” The understanding is that they could never become so because they don’t know how to make moving gestures, and the decibels, when they speak, are low.
I would love to see us redeem the word “passion” and apply it to people that endure great pain to accomplish great gain. Then, perhaps, more people will embrace the high and prestigious calling of “passion,” and divorce the ability to publicly present from the degree of dedication to the cause of Christ.
All around, though, thank you, Caine, for your presentation, your inspiration, your ministry, especially in the human trafficking area. May more rise up after you.