Martha dedicated herself to seeking truth, and found it being lived out

Martha Woolston

Martha Woolston 1950 –

Though Martha grew up at the Bruderhof, her family left when she was eleven, and her childhood faith faded. It was a high-school literature teacher who awakened her social conscience and set her on a search “for truth, love, peace, justice.” By the late 1960s, she was off to college, with dreams of becoming a journalist. “I was looking for a career where I could tell people the truth.” After a year, she found a new focus at the London School of Economics, where she studied economics and international relations. As executive editor of the university newspaper, she sought to bring an objective approach to the political discussions around her: 

It was a time of upheaval and protest. Everyone was looking for something. But my activism wasn’t taking me anywhere. Nor was my search for truth. People would say, “Well, it depends what you mean by truth – or justice, or peace.” There was always some kind of stopper on any meaningful conversation or seeking.

Then, on a visit to the Woodcrest community in New York, Martha was stopped in her tracks.

I was hit in the face with the difference between the life I was living and what I saw in front of me. Here were the truths I had been looking for, as objective quantities. Nobody was sitting down to define them, or arguing about them as ideas. They were being lived. You could feel it in your bones.

In retrospect, the decisive thing about my visit was that I had met the Jesus of my childhood again – Jesus as a person with a real power and a very real message – and realized that he had to be the all-in-all in my life. I finished my studies in 1973 and came home for good.

The wonderful thing is that Christ, in his own life and teaching, combines all the facets of the truth that earlier truth-seekers had represented in part, and goes even further. Christ himself said, “I came not to destroy but to fulfill” – that is, as regards all that is in accordance with the truth. He not only uttered the truth but also was the truth.
Augustine of Hippo, bishop and theologian
AD 354–430

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