Carolyn Culbertson

Anacortes, USA

Radical for Life

I went to university in the middle of the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement. It was the first time I realized what a mess the world was in, and I wanted to help change things! I got involved in the anti-war and civil rights movements on campus, but it wasn’t long before I began to be disillusioned. It seemed like the anti-war people couldn’t get along with one another – and the civil rights people didn’t really regard people who were different from them with much dignity or respect. I wanted my life to be different than that – to be about something that mattered.

About that time I met some people who identified as followers of Jesus. I had grown up going to church – but these people were different. They seemed to have more life to them then the other people I knew.  I heard a story that Jesus told, about a treasure hidden in a field.  Someone found the treasure and sold everything he had in order to buy the field and gain the treasure. I had never heard or imagined that having a friendship with God could be like life’s treasure – but when I heard that I wanted it! I “bought the field” … and entrusted my life to Jesus.

In the years since then there have been challenges like those we all face in life. Mine have included my husband’s  brain tumor and disability; a handicapped sister; a seriously ill child who is in pain all the time, and all the usual challenges of living and raising a family. Through them I have at times wrestled with my trust in God and my confidence in His goodness and presence. I always come back to Jesus, the real person who lived and died, and, I am convinced, actually came back from death.   If he shows us what God is really like – I want to be with that God, now and always. And I want this God – the God that Jesus shows us  with his self-giving love and justice, to be the One who transforms me, and works through me to make the world different.  I still believe in, hope for, and live for radical change!


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