What can one person do?

In the film, The Thin Red Line, a cynical and self-absorbed First Sergeant Welsh sits with Private Witt on a hillside between battles on Guadalcanal. Welsh, who finds Witt’s search for meaning to be a mystery, finally asks, “What difference do you think you can make, one man in all this madness?” Witt doesn’t say anything at the time, but eventually answers that question by laying down his life for his friends. He didn’t fully realize the power he had until the time came.

All this madness” might accurately describe the current state of the culture regarding sexuality, relationships and the value of life. The idea behind Brushfires is that cultural change not only begins small, but that it cannot happen apart from the personal changes each of us make. We believe that every person can begin to change himself and that every change we make begins to impact others. Think of a mobile that hangs above a crib. The individual pieces seems to float separately, but they are actually connected at a higher level. Move one piece and the others adjust to it. This is also true when you begin the process of personal change. Your changes ripple outward into your family and the larger community.

The first spark

Personal change begins by discerning the meaning and purpose of our lives—reading, praying, listening, talking and testing in order to grasp our true identity as male or female  made in the very image and likeness of God. Our identity drives everything else in our lives. The process of learning our true identity may involve challenging the beliefs we grew up with or recognizing how we have been deceived by a culture that does not know God.

Personal change also requires coming to terms with the fact that all of us are sexually broken in some way. For some the struggle is intense, lasting and may even feel hopeless. Yet, there is hope for healing and even for the transformation of our desires, thoughts, and actions. We hope and pray that visiting this site will aid you in this journey.

A posture of the heart

Looking outside of ourselves, we begin to understand that we have much to offer the world.People are swayed by the power of story—by authentic,  even gritty life. We ought not to hide from others the fact that we have fallen short. Unless we are honest about our own shortcomings, we can never enter true relationship with God or others. We believe that more important than winning the argument or policy battle, is to be in meaningful relationship with others.

We are not likely to change others from a position of pride and judgment. We cannot force others to agree with us, but we can live what we believe in such a way that others want to learn more. When we approach this effort with humility and right intentions, we see opportunities all around.

Taking action

This website is designed to provide what you need to spark conversation, debate and awareness in your own circle of influence. Sign up for our newsletter, join our Facebook community and get Twitter updates for timely news. Retweet, reblog, share, post, cut, paste and copy what you find here. The world around you is already talking about identity, ultimate meaning, relationship struggles and sexuality. And, they are waiting for a better, more humane and deeply Christian approach to these issues.

Take courage; you can speak up and confront false and harmful notions of sexuality. Lend your voice, your time, your talents and even your wallet to projects that promote the good, the true, and the beautiful.

 

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”

 John Donne

 

Esther before Ahasuerus

by Jan Steen, late 1660s

Esther-before-Ahasuerus.big

Copyright © 2013, Daniel Weiss. All rights reserved. Used with permission.