Written by Plant With Purpose on June 21, 2011 in General
“I truly believe we can overwhelm the darkness of this world by shining something brighter and more beautiful.” Shane Claiborne
I must say, I’m continually astounded by the simple yet effective messages that I’ve heard/read from Shane Claiborne. He just calls himself an ‘ordinary radical’, or as Gandhi described, someone who is excited about being the change they’d like to see in the world. A few years ago, I read Shane’s book called, ‘Irresistible Revolution’ and finished it feeling inspired and filled with hope. Hopeful that in a broken world, we have been placed to be a part of God’s bigger plan to redeem and reconcile things anew. One of the coolest and most outstanding things about Shane is that he walks the walk. He doesn’t want to just talk about inspiring stuff. In fact, he expressed extreme reluctance about even publishing a book because of the attention and publicity associated with it. He’d rather live out his convictions and allow his actions to convey what he believes than write a book about it. His fuller description of himself and some of his closest friends is that they are ‘just ordinary radicals trying to learn how to love better.’
I think it goes without saying that I admire this guy. Before I had even read his book, I got a chance to meet him here in the Plant With Purpose office (pictured here, except I was the one taking this photo so look closely and you’ll see my reflection in Shane’s glasses, but trust me I was there). We have a really cool relationship with Shane, actually. Every time people ask Shane to travel to speak at their college campus, conference, or seminar, he asks that they offset the cost and environmental footprint of his travel in some way. Shane suggests donating trees through Plant With Purpose as one of the primary ways that people do that!
If you read one of Shane’s books, you’ll realize that he is all about serving others, doing things and supporting things at a local level, and loving like Jesus loved. We think and believe the same things in our international programs. Plant With Purpose is dedicated to helping people to help themselves. We want to come alongside subsistence level farmers through each of our local partners around the world. So for years Shane has been a supporter of Plant With Purpose, helping us as we work with churches and individuals and teach a lot of the same things he loves to teach and practice here in the US.
The partnership makes sense really… the work we do is similar, just in really different geographical contexts. Shane is promoting a transformation of our spirit in order to shift toward living a life as Jesus did through service to one another. Plant With Purpose is looking to empower individuals to be agents of their own change and live in support of their entire community. Both of us are using things like sustainable agriculture, creating economic opportunity, and the redeeming story of Christ’s love and salvation for us all.
Some other cool partnerships and things going on with Shane:
There is an awesome gathering of folks in North Carolina June 23-26th for people who want to interact with justice, spirituality, and art. It’s called the Wild Goose Festival, and they’ve invited people to participate in conversations with key figures in politics, social justice, environmental care, and peacebuilding. Shane will be speaking at the event and he’s asked the hosts to offset his travel costs and footprint by allowing Plant With Purpose to have a table and represent our international work in some of the same areas to all of their attendees. Check it out here!
Shane has also partnered with an awesome venture to bring vegetables of high quality and high quantity to a low income neighborhood in Philadelphia. We love the community that Shane has become a part of there and are excited about their continued desire to see old things made new. Check out one of Shane’s latest projects to use aquaponics to bring people together and transform lives.