On New Years Day, Jan Edmiston, she of A Church for Starving Artists fame, issued “a special challenge” at the end of her post, “How We Will Change Our Minds This Year? [aka The 2011 Love-Your-Enemy Challenge].” If I were a suspicious man, I would have assumed that she was firing a shot across the bow of the SS Metanoia Project. If I were prone to paranoia, I would have thought that she was staring at a picture of me when she was writing.
Alas, I am not paranoid, merely egotistical. And so, when I read her post about how exactly were were going to metanoia (“change our minds”) this year by actually engaging with a member of a group we’ve denigrated in 2010, I read it as the Holy Spirit kicking me in the shorts again.
A Special Challenge: I would like to hear personally from the person who can have lunch with anyone named “Phelps” from the Westboro Baptist Church this year – especially if your meeting involves prayer.This is not a sarcastic request. I am totally serious and I will feature you as a Guest Blogger AND send you your favorite snack food if you can accomplish this holy feat in 2011. I’m thinking that members of Westboro Baptist are not readers of this blog – but if you are, you cannot have lunch with yourselves. Although I will still send you your favorite snack food AND would like to have a friendly conversation with you over mochas. I will fly to Topeka.
I live 45 minutes from Topeka. 45 minutes.
I have to do this. I mean, I really feel like I have to do this.
I’m close. I write about changing the world through changing minds. I believe that God loves them just as much as me. Oh, and I can’t really stand them. Seriously, they make me angry.
Also, I’m an introvert who has been committed to not arguing for several years now. So what do I do? How do I do this? I need help.
I need you to help me figure out how to approach this. I don’t want to lie to them. I want to be honest. I’m not a fool – they’re aren’t going to change their minds by meeting me so, in essence, this is probably an exercise in futility. But the Gospel is not often about effectiveness. It’s about witness.
So help me out. How do I do this?