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Climber Trapped in Crevasse Goes Deeper into the Void

In her book The Vulnerable Pastor, Mandy Smith tells the story of mountaineer Joe Simpson, shared in Simpson's memoir Touching The Void:

Thousands feet up the side of the Siula Grande mountain, Joe's safety line was cut, leaving Joe to slide with a broken leg into a deep crevasse. After several desperate attempts to climb up and out of the crevasse, he was faced with the fact that his injury made it impossible. And so, against all survival instinct, he made the excruciating choice to lower himself deeper into the crevasse in the hope that there would be other exits farther down, all the time wondering, Am I lowering myself to freedom or deeper into the belly of the earth? Does a ray of sunlight await me in the pit, showing a way out into day, or is there only darkness and slow death? With every inch he lowered himself down, he edged farther from the obvious way to life—and there was no way back up.

Obviously, Simpson chose wisely, given that he wrote a book about his harrowing experience! This story illustrates the sort of surrender we must embrace if we are to have any sort of breakthrough with regard to our work for the kingdom. Smith writes: "What if, instead of this futile effort to inch into the pretense of fullness, we made a counterintuitive, countercultural choice? What if we chose to lower ourselves, to defy every survival instinct and start emptying?"

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