Thank you for reading this selection of writings. I don’t know whose eyes are reading this, but I’m praying for you right now. I’m praying that my words in these writings that follow may inspire, challenge and/or encourage you to abandon yourself to Jesus Christ. That’s really what these writings are about.

I wrote this collection of thoughts in my early twenties while I was on the Navajo and Apache Reservations in northern Arizona and New Mexico. The common churched person at that time would have described what I was doing there as “being a missionary.” But I came to understand how the term “missionary” (and even “Christian”) was a painful term for many Native and First Nations communities. So, while I suppose you could say that I was a missionary, for me it was as much being a missionary as talking about Jesus at the laundry mat, or to your next-door neighbor. My heart was to share the love of Christ, however, somewhere on the journey I found out that (though I was imperfect articulating it) the love of Christ that I was trying to share was so much bigger than me, that I ended up getting swallowed up by it, and even all these years later I am still lost in this love (as the hymnist put it)…I have never recovered. This journey is one that I want to invite you to. While sifting through journals and memoirs, I came across this writing (that pre-dated even the readings that you’ll be reading) that sort of describes what I was feeling in my heart:

“The dust of where we go is sweet. Yes, it’s full of disappointment, regret and even fear. It’s also full of glory. Maybe not the glory of unblemished deity, but at least of singleness. Hope hangs on this dust, and its smell lingers. This dust engrains itself on you, and maybe in a lifetime, it will purify you…not into a hard motionless lump, but into a book. A book that reads of hope, dreams and a heart made strong by being broken and mended. A book that records valleys, oases, and mountain climbs that have made you unlike anyone else. ‘Jesus, please give me dusty feet and please bless that dust with Your perfect timing and will.’”

“The Gospel of Somehows” is the memoir of a portion of my voyage. And it’s written here so I don’t forget. It’s the book that the Uncreated God of the Universe has not just been writing through my life, but in me. I invite you into the landscape of this world, where I am forever in awe of the One who created it and me.

Grace and Peace,
Joel Bidderman