In the cozy and acoustical 15th century sandstone guard tower turned hotel, I found myself among friends discussing how many people it will take to join hands and form a human chain from Durango to Pamplona (a bit inland from the Guggenheim to the city of the running of the bulls). You will probably see us on the news soon.
Glancing around I could picture Jesus hanging out here. That is why I came, to be where people are, to listen, hear and gently speak: “Jesus is for you.”
Jesus’ closest friends desired their own country. They spoke a minority language. Jesus embraced radical, unreligious people, making them his closest trusted friends. It’s surprizing how few religious or powerful people had access to Jesus. So if you’re from a powerful background, like me, maybe we have more work than we realize to see that Jesus is for people less like us, people who feel oppressed.
The Basques are my friends, I’m living life here with them, and becoming “too Basque”–as some fellow Jesus-followers talk about–subtly suggests that the Spanish tongue, the Spanish kingdom has better access to Jesus. It seems that very few dare to learn Basque and to love the Basques and not make them Spanish.
Maybe that’s the kind of stuff Basque people stumble on? It does seem to be a thick rooted obstacle to jump over, as Basque friends still sing out: “Franco came to make us Spain, but we are free, we are free!”–a song they secretly sung when Franco prohibited their tongue, and as I found myself singing it the other day at a Basque cider house, I pondered whether Jesus too may sing: “Be free, be free, my friends, be free!”