Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Life from Death’s Baptismal Waters

Written by: on April 12, 2021

There she sat

on a bar stool

next to a small café table

lights bright

room quiet

except for her breath

shared through words


I don’t remember what

she preached

The passage slips my mind


But the room was full

The eyes of the women

in attendance were fixed



I think they sensed it

as much as she did

Something shifted in her that night

That long dreaded overflow of anxiety

to speak before others

turned into a grace

to be present with others

to speak into others


A perfectly practiced and timed

twenty-minute sermon

turned into a thirty-seven minute

kick off your sandals

saunter on holy ground

movement through verse


and perspective

punctuated with perfectly timed silence and

words spoken at the pace of Grace

resting upon and within

the hearts of those present


There was no familiar, fear-filled

feeling of nausea

within her

Only a transcendent deep peace

a profound calm

that she was exactly who she was to be

if only in that moment

where the waters of the Jordan

dripped gently off her limbs


For soon after

she was led into the desert

to be stripped bare of




and understanding

of Church

and community

and oppressive theology


Her position of a backstage leader

who set up chairs

and tossed out

lipstick-stained disposable coffee cups

week after week

was relegated to

an outside of the building presence

left to roam



and wait

in the now for the next


In the desert’s now

she’s learning

new language

and gaining new perspective

She no longer sees the world

The Church


Or herself through conservative evangelical-colored glasses


In the now

she understands

the humbling mercy

of self-awareness

of un-defended-ness

forged in the indifference

of fierce landscapes

along the enduring journey

such becoming requires


It is a journey of death

that leads to life

Once taken by Jesus

through the streets of Jerusalem

and up the hill of Golgotha

to the pinnacle

where steel and wood

pierced bone and blood

to punctuate the

Divine’s words

“I love this world so much that…


Even in this horror

I AM here

Even in your horror

I AM here

Be patient

Life is coming”


And so, she waits

in silence

And waits

in attentiveness

And waits

with nothing left to lose

for a time to come

when she will sit once again

on a bar stool

by a café table

kick off her sandals

and unfold Word

and Wonder

through linguistic color, shape, and texture

to cast new vision

about death


and grief

so, others called to die on that

grief-covered Golgotha hill may

discover new life, too.[1] [2]



[1] Simon Walker. The Undefended Leader: Leading with Nothing to Lose. (Carlisle, CA: Piquant Editions Ltd., 2010) 251-261.

[2] Content also influenced by Edwin Friedman’s Failure of Nerve and Belden C. Lane’s The Solace of Fierce Landscapes.

About the Author

Darcy Hansen

12 responses to “Life from Death’s Baptismal Waters”

  1. Jer Swigart says:


    What a story of a remarkable pilgrimage. What a gift it has been to participate in the waning moments of this particular journey.


  2. Dylan Branson says:

    It’s always a privilege to hear you speak of your journey, Darcy. I think each of us also waits with you in anticipation of the day when you sit on that barstool again.

    “The Road Goes Ever On” and I can’t wait to see where those paths lead you.

  3. Greg Reich says:

    Holy Ground my dear friend. Thank you for sharing!
    I love the imagery of the desert being both a place of death and the rebirth of learning.

    • Darcy Hansen says:

      I think the realization that the desert holds the beauty of life and death is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. It has taught me to rest in paradox rather than try to reconcile opposite truths. Thank you for walking on holy ground with me.

  4. Shawn Cramer says:

    I echo the rest of these gentlemen. You are a gift to us all – of sincerity, tenacity, curiosity, and grace.

    • Darcy Hansen says:

      The feeling is mutual. I’m so grateful for each of you. Learning alongside you has renewed my hope in the Church and reminded me God is still working for good in this broken world. Thank you for being faithful to the call on your life. Your dedication encourages me to steady on.

  5. John McLarty says:

    This rocks, Darcy. It would hold up on its own, but having had the privilege of the journey over the last 18 months, it means even more. I saw an ad for a t-shirt that said “I’m not the imposter.” You never were, but just in case you needed a reminder, your voice is a gift to our group and the greater work.

    • Darcy Hansen says:

      Thank you, John. What a gift it has been to travel these DMin roads with you over the past 18 months. I’m so grateful for the space to work out my leadership wanderings amongst each of you. In countless ways, you all inspire me to lean in, trust the process, and continue to grow.

  6. Chris Pollock says:

    Jesus promised, ‘in this world you will have trouble.’

    Wow, how we succumb to the trouble, becoming it.

    Or, how we rise up to resist it.

    ‘Take heart,’ he reassures.

    ‘I have overcome the world.’

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