No More Waiting Under Fig Trees
by Justin Hancock

As I sit here in the early part of this new year, 2018, I am reminded of a passage that came up during my daily prayer this past Friday. I pray with the British Jesuit and their wonderful podcast, Pray as You Go. The liturgy for Friday morning included the story of Nathaniel meeting Jesus for the first time wherein Jesus says, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathaniel then asks Jesus, “how do you know me?” and Jesus says, of course, rather nonchalantly, “I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathaniel then, completely amazed, declares Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel. I must tell you, I love Jesus’ response. “Are you saying all of this, just because I saw you under the fig tree?” I must also tell you that in praying about my first blog of 2018, this story hit me like a ton of bricks. When I read this passage on Friday, I could hear God talking to me about the Julian Way and about God’s people with disabilities. The past year has been pretty amazing for the Julian way. We helped friends across the country dream about projects that they want to start, we’ve taught people in Arkansas, North Carolina, and California, and we’ve helped people gain a greater degree of independence by engaging in local social services. All of which is great, and for all of which God deserves the glory. But as I was reading this passage on Friday morning, I heard God say “don’t let my people be content under fig trees. Tell them to dream bigger and proclaim all of who they are and who I have made them to be.” So that is my challenge for you, to all people of diverse embodiment: do not settle for being noticed, or humored; ask God what God has in store for you, and then go and get it. Come out from under the fig tree in 2018, and claim your place in the Son. So I will leave you with the question and with this challenge: what are your dreams? What have people told you you can’t do? These are the things that God has for you, and nothing less.  Both the Julian Way and SNs360 are here to help you make noise and find your voice, and claim it in 2018. We have no more time to wait under fig trees. We must meet the Lord on the road and go.