Steve is a structural engineer. His recent involvement with several "Green" projects - designed to push the envelop as regards insulation, energy frugality and sustainability - have made him an "expert" in the field and a potential leader in the future of responsible construction practices in southeast England.
It's been over 40 years since I first invited Steve to church, so it's deeply satisfying to witness his deep personal faith, talk about what God is up to in his life, and hear about his involvement on the leadership team at his local congregation.
After an early breakfast I drove over to Folkestone, just six miles along the chalky cliff line. I surveyed the town from the hills, walked my old neighborhood, and then parked so I could explore the city center.
The new "superstore" is located downtown, and comes with multi-story parking. The roof of the parking garage gave me a view of the town, looking east toward Dover, it was a view that I've never had before (you can see the picture at the beginning of this post). I was born in Folkestone and lived there over 19 years, until I came to the USA for two weeks and never returned! I thought I knew what the town looked like, but it turns out there are always new perspectives.
And so, naturally (for me!) I walked around Folkestone with new eyes. I was seeing Folkestone, again, for the very first time. I had a 53 year old's perspective; I had the vision of someone who hasn't lived there for 34 years; I owned a new viewpoint because I'd never before looked at the town from a hundred or so feet above the city center.
This is exactly what I'd like to see us do with Easter in 2010. I'd like to see us standing in a new place, somewhere outside the realm of the familiar, and take a look at Christ's Cross and Resurrection with new eyes!
Here's the question: have you ever arrived at Palm Sunday (the week before Easter) with your devotional life finely tuned, your daily understanding of God's grace well-practiced, your walk with Jesus in full stride and your sense of expectation fully engaged?
What if we allowed what Christ achieved - and is achieving - to impact us as if we had heard of it for the very first time? What if we've been looking at it all from the standpoint of tradition rather than living faith? What if our Easter understanding has everything to do with religion and nothing to do with a transformational encounter with the living God?
What if we did something new this year, and all of that changed?
I don't know; I'm just asking. But then again I'm asking because I already know what happens when I stand in a new place, asking new questions.
What about you?