Making All Things Whole through Love | Ryan Kuja (From the Inside Out)

The following is an excerpt of From The Inside Out: Reimagining Mission, Recreating the World, Ryan Kuja’s potent critique of missionary colonialism envisions a hope-filled future. It’s a Speakeasy selection, and there are still a few review copies left for qualified reviewers. 

“Those who follow Jesus,” wrote Franciscan sister and professor Ilia Delio, “are to become wholemakers, uniting what is scattered, creating a deeper unity in love.”

The deepest call of Jesus followers is to be wholemakers— acting in ways that bring about the wholeness that underlies the fabric of the cosmos. We seem separate but in our roots we are part of an indivisible whole. There is an integral connectivity that links us. If this is how reality is construed—through a substrate of love, a fabric of connection and deep unity—than participating in mission as if this were true means looking at our task differently, through the lens of the hidden wholeness that exists in Christ prior to and beneath all things. Jesus followers are tasked with intentionally participating in completing the world; mission is nothing less than action toward the fulfillment of the cosmos itself.

The reconciliation of all things is not only a possibility, human flourishing is not only an idea, shalom not a mere word to be adopted, but realities ingrained in the fabric of creation itself.

Placing ourselves in alignment with the shape of God and thus the shape of the universe itself so that we may be conduits of shalom means bringing together the inner and the outer. It means reintegrating contemplation and action. Our logical Western-trained minds say prayer and work, spirituality and ministry are distinct, autonomous aspects of life, but that is a fairly new invention based on Western philosophy and Greek metaphysics, based on the thought of Descartes and Plato more than Paul and Jesus.

What would happen if we began to reimagine mission as relationship in which we recreate each other through a deep mutuality? Participating in the ongoing creation of the world through mending and being mended, healing and being healed, becoming wholemakers as we are being made whole?

This missional spirituality is radically grounded in materiality while simultaneously oriented toward a cosmological horizon that is coming to us from the future, a future in which “Christ is all, and is in all” (Col 3:11). We experience a foretaste of that eschatological future in the present. From the very heart of reality itself, from within the messes, the brokenness, and the tragedy, Christ redeems, restores, reanimates, and resurrects. The world is being reconstituted, day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath, to reflect the new reality which Jesus referred to as the kingdom of God. It is all heading into renewal.

Every act of peace, each move toward courage, every act of selfless love is an act of new creation, small and often unnoticed perhaps, but powerful nonetheless as it is a participation in God’s being. In this way we don’t merely believe in God, worship God, or work for God, but we participate in God’s life.

Praise for From the Inside Out

“In this compelling book … Kuja calls us to something deeper. He never gives up on mission but invites us into a posture that will be more sustainable, more holistic and ultimately more transformative. Read it with an open mind and heart and you will be challenged.”
— Craig Greenfield, author of Subversive Jesus and founder of Alongsiders International

“A bold and courageous examination of unconscious motivations for mission, whereby we discover the way of interior freedom that allows for more effective service in our world. A timely clarion call for the integration of contemplation and action.”
— Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and co-founder of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

“In From the Inside Out, Ryan Kuja helps us to right-size our egoic ventures of fixing the world to seeing its people through wildly curious, deeply wise, and always loving eyes. No matter your current worldview, From the Inside Out is sure to expand its boundaries of beauty and reconciliation. This transformational book will be required reading for all Make Way Partners staff and mission volunteers.”
— Kimberly Smith Highland, author of Passport Through Darkness and founder of Make Way Partners

About the Author

A global citizen with a background in international mission, relief, and development, Ryan Kuja has lived in fifteen cities and rural villages on five continents and has fifteen years of professional, academic, and personal experience in mission. He holds a M.A. in Theology and Culture from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology as well as a Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Ryan is a writer and spiritual director, currently serving as the Field Director of Word Made Flesh in Medellin, Colombia, where he lives with his wife. You can find him online at and on Twitter as @ryankuja.

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