We can get pretty set in our thoughts and ways, can’t we? And that’s when we need a bit of stretching. Like we had one crunchy afternoon, when a rather unusual group of people invited us to lunch. How we came to know them makes for a long story. So to keep it short, we’ll skip straight to the lunch, and why they invited us.
They’re dreaming of home-schooling their children, which is still relatively new here in Italy. And as former home-schoolers, whose kids are now home-schooling their own children, they see us as experts. Almost like gurus. Kind of frightening, actually!
But somehow they got to know a chap with a large country home, who believes in the strength of community.
Hmm, seems many Christians need to talk with him… At any rate, he wants to use the property for some form of community living. Filled with people.
They hold a sort of pre-school in this huge old house. Because they feel home-schooling is best done as a group. We tried explaining that that’s not really the gist of home-schooling. But we’re sure they’ll get it all figured out.
But what made the afternoon so particular, is that they’re Crunchies.
Perhaps you don’t know what crunchies are. We didn’t either until recently. For lack of a better explanation, we’d say they’re sort of like modern-day hippies. Although we’re not sure that’s how they view themselves. But we were in on the tail-end of the old hippy days. And we know hippies when we see them! (Especially since we’re still sort of crunchies ourselves!)
Well, even though these Crunchies — if somewhat different than us — were great people, really warm and friendly. Yet even so, conversation lagged at first. We answered the 101 questions about home-schooling, and then what was there to say?
In reality, Crunchies are simply people who strive to live simple, sustainable lives. And that, really, was our meeting point. We too love simple living and earth care. And we were all lovers of nature. Although we see it as something that points to The Answer, where as they see it as An Answer. Getting back to nature, they feel, should somehow help them find truth, peace, and meaning in life.
And we found ourselves asking, “Lord, how did we get into this?”
But after lunch, strolling about the property, we got to share the source of our own hope, peace, and purpose in life.
They are searching. Trying to make sense of this mess that man has made of life. And they asked, so we shared. Perhaps nothing will ever come of it. Or perhaps the seed will slowly germinate as we continue to water it with prayer.
But the point the Lord showed us was: be willing to risk. To step out of our comfort zones. To look beyond appearances. To dig down beyond what seems strange to us, until we uncover the real person. So often, when we dig beneath the surface, we find that many people are searching in some way for truth.
And we thank the Lord that he will even use things like that crunchy afternoon to stretches us. Bringing us out of comfort zones — and out to people perhaps quite different from ourselves. But who like us, just want to make some sense of this life.
DO YOU LOOK BEYOND APPEARANCES? IT’S REALLY THE ONLY WAY TO UNEARTH THE REAL PERSON, AND EVEN MAKE WONDERFUL DISCOVERIES!