Issue 016: RE-CREATION

Re-Creation. When we take part in recreation, how can we focus that time on pursuits that help us re-create in politics? At a deeper level, what activities help us experience the life of Jesus more fully? How does his life move us towards wholeness, towards the relief of being set free from political dysfunction?

These were the questions we posed to our community of writers for our sixteenth journal series.

While this issue has been several months in the making, this fall we’re going back to the basic nature of life, of freedom, of following Jesus.

Our cover photos for each piece—taken at Great Falls National Park, where our board convened for our August meeting—were inspired by the basic elements: water, fire, air, earth, stone.

What struck me as I sought to capture each of these elements in the park is the difficulty of it. A depiction of life stripped to its bare essence is a photographic challenge because the moment each of these elements coexists life grows abundantly. Last June, as I hiked through the park with my camera, it was nearly impossible to capture stones without moss, leaves without sunlight, or tree trunks without insects. Even a shot of the sun, taken by carelessly pointing my lens into the sky, captured birds of prey circling above.

Over the years, I’ve found—as have humans for millennia—that experiences like these in nature can help us recapture a sense of satisfaction, purpose, and gratefulness in life. For me, nature has become a place to fight from as I pray for that which we hope but cannot see—a place where faith is bolstered by the beautiful, visible natural world.

Perhaps learning to go back to the basics every day is what matters the most in our journey to freedom, no matter how meaningful our callings seem. While I was working with our writers to create this series, I was struck by these words John Eldredge wrote in Beautiful Outlaw:

Jesus has no intention of letting you become whole apart from his moment-to-moment presence and life within you. (p. 207).

So here’s to that deeper journey. Here’s to understanding our unique talents and using them to make much of God, as Jeff Vorberger reminds us in our week one interview. Here’s to letting the “artistry of the ages” that Pete Obermueller speaks of in week two teach us that there is a story greater than our self-absorbed strolls among columns of stone. Here’s to learning to pray that the Father’s will be done—and letting stillness in that will consume us, as our Executive Assistant and Communications Director remind us in weeks three and six.

And here’s to growing more aware of God's love for us, no matter the circumstances we face, as Congressman Jeff Duncan articulates in week four. This summer, he walked away from a congressional baseball practice moments before hell broke out—unknowingly talking to the would-be assassin of his colleagues as he returned to the Capitol. In our interview, he shares that an experience as harrowing as this can lead us into deeper gratefulness for God's provision.

Here’s to taking the deeper spiritual journey of re-creation to which each of us is called.


-Caleb Paxton, Liberatus Founder

Liberatus is a community journal about bringing truth and beauty to American politics from the inside, because people who work in politics are tired of dysfunction. Writers who join us creatively explore healing for work culture, communication, and personal well-being. To catch each journal entry in our seven-week series on Re-Creation, sign up using the form on this page to have each of them delivered to your inbox.

Journal Entry #103