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Showing posts from April, 2013

beyond faithfulness

I have been reading Gregory Boyle's Tattoos on the Heart.  It is filled with stories from the Catholic priest's twenty years of working with gang members in central LA, an area known for its high concentration of gang-related murders.  The stories of founding Homeboy Industries and offering gang members an alternative lifestyle are inspiring, funny, touching, and they garner my deep respect for all that Boyle and his staff and volunteers do for their community.  And the love and patience with which they do it.  But as poignant as the stories are, I don't totally identify with them.  After all, gang life in central LA is pretty far removed from theology studies in Montreal. 

And then I came to the chapter called "Success."  And things got close to home real fast. Boyle begins with these words:  "People want me to tell them success stories.  I understand this.  They are the stories you want to tell, after all.  So why does my scalp tighten whenever I am aske…

other

I try to live by the motto that life is not about issues, but about relationships.  As a result of this, I don't engage much with hot topics or comment much on world events or what's on the news.  Frankly, I usually have very little to add to the conversation, other than to ask God for grace, help, healing, and wholeness.  Coming down on one side or the other of an issue is never that helpful, I find.  However, a few things I have read lately about how some Christian groups are condemning, excluding, and judging certain people have pained me deeply.  As a result, I have begun to do some thinking about how we treat others.  And by "others" I mean those whom we disagree with, those whom we don't understand, those whom we don't like, those whom we think are a blight on society, etc. You know who I'm talking about. 

Since I profess to follow God, I believe that I should learn how to treat others by looking at how God treats others.  Let me begin with a brie…

do it again!

I saw my first bud on a tree today.  Well, not exactly my first, because I have seen them before, but it was my first sighting this year.  It has been an extended winter and it feels like the whole earth is straining to catch a glimpse of the spring sun and feel its warm, nourishing rays again.  I know I am. 

Today I was reading G.K. Chesterton and Kathleen Norris.  Both of them have developed a gift for seeing the playful and holy presence of Christ in moments that many of us dismiss as mundane and ordinary.  Chesterton writes about the sun rising every morning in response to the call of the Spirit of God to "Do it again!"  He calls this repetition in nature a theatrical, heavenly encore. 

Similarly, Norris speaks about the mindless tasks of laundry and washing dishes as invitations to enter the temple of "holy leisure."  She says there is sacred potential in the necessity of repetition when we see these actions as occasions for renewal and playful abandon.  As…

a bottle of water

On my way to class this morning I stopped to buy a bottle of water.  I always go to the same coffee shop because it is convenient, well-priced, and I want to support the new management which seems to be trying really hard to change the mediocre reputation the place had before.  Anyway, this morning I walked up to the counter and waited for the server who was busy tidying something up at the back of the serving station. 

As I was waiting, another person walked up to the counter and stood on my right, closer to the server.  I watched as the server turned, greeted the other person, took their order, and made her way to the cash register (where I was standing) to complete the transaction.  I felt my mouth drop open and my head shake ever so slightly, my annoyance at being overlooked coming through in my body language.  I was here first, lady! 

The server smiled at me and indicated that she would take my order while the other person was fishing for money in their purse.  I avoided her sm…