Every book has a book boneyard: the paragraphs that didn’t make the cut, the stories that didn’t work, or the ideas that simply didn’t fit in. For Junkyard Wisdom the boneyard is almost as big as the book itself.
When this journey to write began it wasn’t entirely clear where it would end. But I had to start somewhere, so I wrote the paragraphs below. At the time — sitting in a hotel by myself in Southern California — I thought it might work as the introduction. It’s a hint of what’s to come, but it didn’t make the final cut. I thought you’d be interested, so here goes:
It took fifty years and millions of miles to learn about the tension of hope and fear, obedience and defiance, ignorance and forgiveness. The first fleeting glance of truth came when the gun was pointed at my chest, a desperate young drug addict needing his next fix, demanding all of my money. If you only knew, I thought.
Or perhaps even earlier, as a child sitting at the knee of my Aunt in one of the finest restaurants in Silicon Valley, hearing stories of hardship and poverty. Her memories of hunger awkwardly contrasted to both the abundance on our table and the wrecking yard hands of my father, grease under his fingernails, gripping a large roll of twenties.
Maybe it was later, in Haiti or Zimbabwe or Belize or Thailand, in another village of fear and faith, the rich arriving as an act of short-term obedience, the poor so hungry for hope they lived perpetually in fear, both groups unaware of the great gift they had for each other.
Over time and place the lifetime of insightful hints became clearer, the ideas more comfortable. The tension was there to be discovered. And embraced.
This book is about embracing the tension in life. It is a tension of wealth and poverty, despair and hope, faith and defiance. Said simply, it is the tension of being a person of faith desiring to live out a call to Christ, but doing so with neither the conviction to sell all that and give to the poor, nor to insulate from the poor and live a life of ignorant blessing.
It’s the third door, a new way that is actually quite old. It’s living in the tension of faith, where financial strength comes to terms with humility and, ultimately, forgiveness.