I don’t know if he has a face for radio, but he has a voice for preaching. It was the voice I heard on a podcast some time back that caught my attention. His words did not hurt either. But it was the voice.
Some struggle to find their voice. Not Jason. In fact, whether listening to one of his sermons or reading one of his blog posts, it does not take long to know he found his voice and that you should find his voice too.
We have never met in real time. However, we have met. We have not met in cyber time. We have met in the clash of human experience and theology. The place where pastors often meet. Sometimes we meet for in the other we have found an adversary to spar with while wrestling over the Scriptures, ideas, and human experience. Other times we meet the other for the insight and honesty that refresh like the sun on a cold winter day. We have met there.
He a Methodist pastor. Me a Southern Baptist pastor. What does Wesley have to do with . . . ? Correct, there is no single Baptist progenitor. There are many. But in Jason the many meet the one in ways that could only serve to foster better thinking and certainly better praxis, better theo-praxis. My late Big Paw would be proud, he a former Methodist who could not understand why Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, split so many proverbial hairs.
The sun of our disconnected connection took a hit this week. I had missed reading my Feedly account updates.
There it was.
Jason discovered he has cancer. Not just any form but an aggressive type. His blog titled, Tamed Cynic, might lead a person to think the experience untamed what had been tamed. Maybe he had returned to some former way of seeing the world, of life. Not so.
Rather, with all the boldness, candor, and even what some might consider profane, Jason writes from the cut that is his diagnosis. He shies from quips and pious chattering. Jason drives a wedge deep into the heart of avoiding what should not be said, even by a pastor. He is gutty, pun intended should Jason ever find this post. And, he is humorous. His wit is not the place from which he hides and pretends all is well. No, his humor opens up a place where the reader experiences his or her own cut.
In an odd sort of way, Jason’s chronicle, from his Pre-Op post to his most recent 50 Shades of Humiliation, puts the reader on the table. Surgically he attempts to remove the readers own 10 x 10 tumor. The tumor of what is palatable and un-forming. He invites the reader to consider life, our lives, a parable for the telling where the very words of Jesus get tested. Not for their truth as much as for their practice.
I could not help but think of Jake Bouma and Erik Ullestad. Together they edited a book, Cancer and Theologies. I posted a short review here. I am thinking Jason should be included in any future revisions or additions. If there are no plans for a future update, then be sure you visit Jason’s blog often to keep up. (For my readers who are easily offended, Don’t be. Or, don’t read.)
And, know this. It may not turn out well. If you read him carefully he will help you to understand how to continue fully and faithfully if it does not.
Thanks Jason. I laugh and then I cry. Had you not take up the keyboard to write, we would never have met. And, I would be the poorer.