I didn't even become a Christian in the traditional way, which is usually at an altar call in a church. No, I was told about Jesus by some "Jesus freaks" that lived in a commune. Talk about hippies! I was only 14-years-old and already had enough misery in my life to know what they were talking about when they said I must be born again because of sin. My sin and the sin of the fallen world had to be paid for by the blood of Jesus. All I had to do was accept it and dedicate my life to living like Jesus and for Jesus. I got that. I got down on my knees and pressed my face to the floor with a room full of "brothers and sisters" and said the sinners prayer. I wanted to be there every minute that I wasn't in school. I devoured the Bible. Everyone had visions of me going there for orgies and drugs. Neither were there much to the disappointment of many. A lot of the commune members were burnouts from the '60s and coming off of drugs. They looked like the biggest hippies you could ever imagine, but they were serious about their Christianity. They preached and lived a life of holiness. I think they may have even saved my life. Knowing these so-called hippies taught me how to love and accept people right where they are at unconditionally. We evangelized daily. They taught me not to look at the outer man or appearances. They taught me not to look at their successes or failures. They taught me not to look at their sin. They taught me about just loving people as they are and leading them to the Savior sometimes right on a street corner. I eventually left them and my Christian walk, for awhile, but what I learned there never left me. There is something to that good hippie love thing.
Later when I rededicated my life to the Lord and married, my ex husband and I lived much like the Jesus freaks I had known many years before. I worked as an Engineering Writer by day and lived in an inner-city mission in the worst section of Baltimore by night. We called it the mission, but it was just he and I taking people in off of the street. We took in drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics down on their luck. It didn't matter. We lived a non-traditional Christian life. Churches from all around would drop people off to us instead of taking care of them themselves. We had always wanted to take people from the city to a farm where they could get on their feet and learn a new way of living.
When I had my daughter at age 30, I quit my job to stay home with her. I wanted to raise her. It was unheard of to give up a career to be a stay-at-home mom. The only way that we could afford to do this was to move to a farm and raise our own food. I made everything from scratch. I could bake anything and I baked often. I canned or froze all of my own vegetables from the garden, fruit butters from our apple and peach trees, and even grape juice off of the vine. We raised our own pork, beef, and chickens for eggs. Oh what a hippie thing to do in the '90s!
We started a Christian coffeehouse in the nearest city, which was Hagerstown, Maryland. We reached out to young adults without judgement. It became a place for musicians, young people, and street people to hang out during the week and on the weekend we'd have live Alternative Christian music. It was a place where they weren't judged or made to be a cookie cutter Christian. It was during this time that I got my nose pierced. But the marriage broke up after 13 years and we failed at marriage and at ministry. It was devastating. After I grew through the fog of divorce, brokenness, disappointment, and failure...that inner-Jesus freak lives on. I'm still a good old hippie at heart.
In conclusion, I want to say that as a "hippie Conservative Republican," I found a home in the TEA Party. The TEA Party is made up of people who stand on principles not just Party affiliation. They stand up for what they believe (TEA parties or public protests). They reject establishment Republicans in Name Only (RINOs). Although many TEA Party members are Conservatives and social issues are important to them, they agree to unite with others on the love and protection of the U.S. Constitution; to promote fiscal responsibility, capitalism, and free markets; and on the protection of our freedoms. So if you find that you do not fit into the box labeled Republican or the box labeled Democrat and you think that the country is heading in the wrong direction and you feel compelled to get involved maybe for the first time ever, reach out to your local TEA Party. I guarantee that you will find a place that you belong.