Having seen this film last week I started reading the book for a second time, and one of the things which has struck me is this. As Harold walks so he lets go of more and more things, sending back his wallet to his wife, and giving away much of the stuff he is carrying. As he does this so he feels more connected with the land and the people he meets. Decluttering opens him up. And it made me think of Jesus’ style, the way he did a lot of walking, meeting people along the way, and teaching his friends as they travelled. There is a phrase about catching the dust of your rabbi, having his way of life washing over yours, and in that way allowing his teaching to affect you.
Jesus lived simply too, relying on the kindness of others, and offering them what he had. He was fully connected to this world, fully able to appreciate life and to celebrate all it meant to be present in the here and now. When he met a woman at a well, he was in need. I am currently working on a new book full of ideas and suggestions for communicating creatively.
Here’s a short extract:
When Jesus pitched up at that well in John chapter 4, he had deliberately let his friends go off with their water supply. He wanted to wait there in need, vulnerable to whoever came his way. He wanted to ask for help and so open a window on grace and truth. He deliberately made himself weak in order to create a conversation and break down barriers. His need created the opportunity he was looking for.
Jesus knew well that we are more than our stuff, more than the way we present ourselves to others, and that there’s a precious world beyond our things and our image. And that’s how Jesus lived. Stuff-less and transparent. So he could be full of wisdom and generosity and gentleness and compassion. He emptied himself and so made room for all these good things.
(From the forthcoming book: Pants, Dung and Wailing Jackals
How did the biblical heroes communicate, and what does it mean for us?)