D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

Filtering by Tag: missional

A few questions I got asked recently.

Q: what drains you about relational/apartment/incarnational/missional/neighborly/whatever-the-heck-we-are-calling-it-now living?

A: Hearing the domestic disputes through the paper-thin walls. Loud, angry voices, at all hours of the day. Wondering if you should call the cops, then being very regretful when you do. The cockroaches. The mice. The anthills exploding up through the carpet. The constant threat of bedbugs. 

Becoming embedded in a community and a neighborhood so different from the one you were brought up in, far from the successes and the upwardly mobile of the world, then being asked on a dime to enter back into the other America, where you are meant to smile and give poignant updates and do no harm and not make anyone feel terribly guilty all the while withering inside for more people to just do the hardest simple things, to be planted and sprinkled like seeds throughout the entire world, to be relationally embedded, to commit to not going anywhere. to try to communicate both the depths of trauma and chaos and despair and also speak into words the fact that you have met Christ here, the one you had always dreamed about, the kindest, best, most prophetic, caring, angry Savior one could ever hope for, and he is out wandering the wilderness and he cannot possibly be as tame as we desire him to be. 

also: trying to convert people. 



Q: what energizes you?

praying with people and reading the scriptures, begging for eyes to see and hearts to obey, none of us knowing the answers, our eyes continually grower wider and wider to the ways the Spirit moves in the world, experiencing the kingdom here and now, longing with broken hearts for it to come in full. 

acknowledging the truth that I am a privileged, racist, emotional girl, working through her savior complexes and moralistic interpretations of scripture, moving into a neighborhood with so much baggage as to be back-breaking, a do-gooder, a mistake-maker, a failure, a colonizer. and people, my neighbors, choosing to love me anyway: reading scripture, opening doors, showing up to classes, cooking me meals, shoving presents and dollars bills into my daughter's hands, texting me, embracing me, enveloping me with clouds of perfume and jangles of bracelets, accepting me just as I am, their eyes seeing right through me, their hearts of love and hospitality healing me more than I could have ever known I needed. 







On being missional, and on leaving (oh, the irony).

Oooh, getting all fancy and theological over at A Deeper Church today, writing about the weirdly popular word "missional". I have read arguments about how this word has icky connotations (which it does, totes) but it also seemed to miss the mark of all the people I had observed who were living out this life instead of writing treatises about it. The people I know who would be classified by the church as "missional" are not colonizers. They are mustard seeds, ground down in the dirt, trampled by the city and its inhabitants. They are a pinch of yeast, spreading slowly through the bread, doing their work with little to no programs or specialized plans (hence, no recognition). Most of my favorite people are unglamorous  hilarious, hardworking, celebratory, messy people. They are missional. I can only hope to be one of them.

You can read the piece here.

As a side note, in several days I will be immersed in the Moving Tornado. I don't know when I will have access to consistent internet again, so who knows when I will blog again. Things have worked out to such a degree that me, the hubs, one of my besties, AND my sister are caravanning out to the exotic midwest, so it is seeming more and more like a grand party/adventure. This is helping.

It is also helping that I am completely emotionally shut down. Apartment fell through? No problem. Transmission acting funny? Whatevs. Saying goodbye to people I have lived/worked with for 8 years? Ok, that's fine.

Sigh. I do think at some point during the drive out I am going to put some Steven Curtis Chapman in on the ol' car stereo and sob my guts out.

I'm divin' in, guys.

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