The Fringe

The Fringe

The Fringe 150 150 Jason Ramsey

Aspiration leaves us hanging on precipices — balmy, nervous, like wet leaves sweating off midsummer rain. It gets us close, but seldom close enough. Close enough to feel the rush, the hopeful impending. Close enough so that we can taste the fruit of our labor, savor its sweetness, and then discard it as waste. We always discard the waste.

Most of us live on the fringe. Most of us are close to satisfaction. To happiness. To the life we see with idealist eyes. But yet, we yearn. Our souls are marrow with no bone — lips without another to press against. Waves of euphoria suppressed by seas of self-doubt.

We are made in His image, flawless and bare, a perfect intricacy of synaptic response. We are systematically forgiven for our plights and afflictions. We are eternally pardoned despite our submissive dives into soiled troughs. We are sinners. We are God’s people. And yet, for many Christians, the promise of salvation simply isn’t enough.

We worry more about what our peers and loved ones think of us than what Jesus does. We let other people dictate our moods, actions, and thoughts. And the way we treat others. We long for belongingness.  We let ourselves drown in the pithy filth of selfishness and self-gloating.

Our inherent need to “be better” blinds us from the true grace of giving.

Greed chokes us like a swollen throat.

And for what? To satisfy our sadistic desire to impress other sinners? To fill the chalice of our egos? To pound our chests in apish delight as we heave pragmatic dogmas onto others? To get another Twitter follower or Facebook ‘like’? To make our children be our friends? To proffer others’ salvation?

There is nothing wrong with living life on the fringe, as long as it’s the right one. If we’re on the cusp of unity with Christ, well, that’s something. That’s worthy aspiration.

But if we’re eagerly overlooking the redwoods of earthly success, then we shouldn’t be surprised when the branches snap and we fall like dead birds from the sky.


Jason Ramsey

Jason Ramsey is the founder and executive director of ALTARWORK and Amity Coalition. He's married with five kids - including two sets of twins - and walks the tightrope of family, job, and ministry with both eagerness and unease. He gravitates towards mental health advocacy, social and religious equality, hard-life fiction, classical liturgy, modern worship, the Detroit Tigers, and all things Michigan State University. His writing has been featured at Patheos, Venn Magazine, The Mudroom, and The Bees Are Dead, among others. Connect with him below!

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  • Beautiful, Jason!

    Your untiring aspiration gives your audience great inspiration. The rest of the world should have a window into your world, what your typical day looks like, how you serve your family and others with intelligence and a heart that loves God, and how you still somehow find time to bring focus to the talents of others. Thank you for all you do!

    • Thanks, Peter! I’ve never thought about writing something like you suggest. My only reservation is that it would be about ‘me’. However, it might add an intimacy to the site. I’ll think on it. 🙂 Email forthcoming about your mural…