My impression of Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo was a college trying to
keep its identity as a Christian college on a growing campus with increasing
diversity. They seem to be doing a good job of balancing and finding
integrity in the shifting realities, and they're not the only Christian
higher education institutes to be dealing with this question of identity.
The view was breathtaking. On a clear day, from the 52nd floor, they said we
should be able to see Mount Fuji. It was too hazy that day, though. All we
could see were the blocks and blocks of concrete, towering buildings, and
grids of traffic.
We were on the island! The train had risen about the surface of the water out
of the underwater tunnel that had taken us a half hour to traverse. We looked
at the rural villages, the mountains, the fields. This was Hokkaido.
Every now and then a familiar story comes to new meaning. A recent re-reading
of the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52 pushes me into an area of
discomfort that challenges my identity and my understanding of our identity
as a faith community. It makes me question our responses to Jesus' unexpected
ways of transforming people. It causes me to wonder how good my vision is