I am one fortunate son of a gun. If you had told me two years ago that I would embark on the journey of a documentary filmmaker telling the story of one of my dearest friends and most cherished mentor moving back to Thailand to live out his few remaining months on this earth I wouldn’t have believed you.
Because I didn’t think Ken would pass that quickly. I thought, like other times in his life, he’d pull through a scare and be off and running again with the excitement and energy of his sixty year old self.
Because the thought of finally chasing a dream I’ve had since jr. high to be a filmmaker scared the hell out of me due to the possibility of failing and finding out I don’t actually have what it takes to do it.
Then, after all that, had you told me that Ken’s passing would be a mere step into understanding him on a level I never did as he sat in front of me teaching me about a God, a Jesus and a Spirit that didn’t jive with all I’d been taught growing up but fit my heart like a glove.
In the edit of this documentary, all three of them so far, I have become more aware of the nuance of Ken’s teaching and his understanding of Buddhism and Eastern thought as it related with the Christ and the story of Jesus that Christians hold so firmly to.
Ken spent his life searching for what the words in a very old book had to say but searched deeper than many people I know to see what the words said at the time they were written most likely meant to those writing them or reading them. Ken’s appreciation of the feebleness of humans trying to reason and comprehend the mysterious ways of the universe solidified his devotion to the God they wrote of rather than tear away his conviction and cause him to take another path.
Through his forty plus years in Thailand and other parts of Asia Ken took to the scriptures to see how they would translate in the changing times and constantly fought with them to find a God of love in the midst of words that seemed barbaric or cold or egomaniacal.
The risk of doing so square in his face didn’t discourage him from what he viewed as the truth. Several times, too many to count, he was removed from the support structures of western churches as he insisted on every action being one of love and kindness.
Ken taught me to love people unconditionally. Whether they believe in God or not, they each deserved my utmost respect and gratitude for their existence.
People would try to argue with him about his views on eternal punishment or infallibility of scripture and he would simply let them speak and then steer the conversation into a direction where they could both agree.
His favorite saying on these matters was, “When you find yourself in an argument it is always over law. Love does not argue.”
Ken would seek out people who wanted to hear what he had to say. He would spend time explaining the nature and heart of God as he found it in the person of Jesus and the stories about the life of a carpenter turned rabbi who taught a different way of viewing the world.
In a few short days we are taking our documentary about Ken to another level. One that may very well help us get to finish line of this long process of telling a man’s amazing story. The team working on this documentary are over the moon about this prospect and we can’t wait to share it with everyone we know. Until then I share my #thisiscrazylove2016 today with the man who showed me what crazy love really looks like.