Lately, I have been thinking about what shapes people. What is it exactly that answers the question, “Who Am I?”
A small journey into the world of Brandon Stanton, creator of “Humans of New York” will invite you into the reality of just how astonishingly diverse humanity can be. Although we live in a world that often persecutes differences, I look at these people and see that there is still something in the human heart that can celebrate difference. Even though the world cringes at divergences, I can’t help but accept the fact that each person has something invaluable to offer the world that is unique, unrepeatable and irreplaceable. With this in mind, I have developed a hunch that its not just me that creates, “Who I am” but rather is largely based on “Who I am When With Others”.
In other words, what predominantly creates us is our responses.
Behavioral Neuroscientist, (Stick with me here) Read Montague explains that, “Even when we are alone, we are profoundly social creatures. We're not a solitary mind built out of properties that kept it alive in the world independent of other people. Our minds depend on other people, and are expressed in other people.” Dr. Montague is doing ground breaking work viewing MRI’s of interacting brains simultaneously. His studies view an exchange of conversation between mentally healthy people and people with classically defined mental disorders. They study these social interactions with each other over an MRI and are able to gain new insights by seeing the differences in each brain.
Interaction, responding, and discovery through difference—this is how we come to define ourselves. Dr. Montague expresses that you can’t really know yourself, truly, without interacting with others close to you. It's then that I recognized I really do operate as a response. Everything I do, everything about me, is all a response.
My interactions with music, television, people, religion, all lead me to respond with the person that I am today. If you look at any of the compelling souls in, “Humans of New York” you see that they are artfully responding to life, and this response is carried in their clothes, their lifestyle, and their very breath.
This my friends is where Reverb Culture gets its traction. So many things in my life rightfully demand a response, but nothing demands more of a response than the God of the Universe becoming a small infant in a manger so that he could tell me with human lips and human hands that He loves me. The time event that is Jesus of Nazareth demands a daily response. As a person we cannot know ourselves without interacting with others, even further as a Church Body we cannot know ourselves without interacting with the Head.
Reverb Culture is attempting to create a culture that is directly responding to Revelation.
Just as a man stranded on an island can’t just imagine others in order to better know himself, we can’t know ourselves by just imagining up whatever idea of Jesus we want. Too often in Christians I don’t see followers of Jesus, I see followers of Jesus’ followers. At times we have wonderful teachers of the faith and we are so gracious for them leading us to Him, but it always come to a point where each of us must meet the Jesus of the Trinity, face to face. As true and wonderful as they may be you can only follow Scott Hahn’s journey with Jesus for so long, or even Pope Francis’ journey with Jesus for so long. These saintly souls are themselves already a personal response to Revelation. Reading about their lives is enriching however there comes a time where you and I must find our personal response to Revelation. The fruit of is nothing else but real and sheer Sainthood.
Every Saint is a direct response to Revelation. The fascination here is that each responded in their own unique and unrepeatable way. There is only one soul who responded to scripture in the way that he flipped his world upside down out of love to become a beggar. There is only one soul who in hearing the Apostle’s words responded by freely giving his life over to the Colosseum lions. There is only one woman who responded to revelation by showing a world mercy in works for the most unwanted in Calcutta.
Reverb Culture is a culture of divergent sainthood. Through the Catechism and the Bible we are going to the direct source of Revelation. You are getting Jesus unfiltered, organic and High Fructose Corn Syrup-Free. As we do this, my hope is that Christian Music will stop producing artless songs that tend to just copy each other. Instead it can inspire music coming straight from the human person personally encountering Jesus of Nazareth.
Imagine what our lives could look like if we took time everyday with Scripture and the Catechism to respond directly to God’s Revelation. From Peter to Karol Wojtyla, God has revealed himself to those who seek Him and they have responses that will be remembered for ever. What will your response look like today?
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