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Sunday, November 13, 2011

taking over

I was with a small congregation in rural Kentucky today. On the way down I passed an unincorporated town whose motto was "preserving the past to protect the future". That could mean any number of things in the south. It is safe to assume the town is not progressive.
The congregation was wonderfully friendly and hospitable, though a few members were clearly concerned about this young woman who appeared before them. They were not used to having a female in the pulpit, let alone one with cute shoes! Afterwards, one gentleman said to me, "Fifteen years ago [someone] told me that women were going to take over the church. Now you've proven him right." Hmmm! Should I be more concerned about it having been 15 years since he has thought about women in ministry, or that he thinks I'm taking over the church? haha!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Worthy points to ponder

I've been reading the mystics again. Here are two quotes that continue to stick with me:

* "Hope always draws the soul from the beauty that is seen to what is beyond, always kindles the desire for the hidden through what is constantly perceived. Therefore, the ardent lover of beauty, although receiving what is always visible as an image of what he desires, yet longs to be filled with the very stamp of the archetype." -- Gregory of Nyssa

This speaks directly to my last post's musings. Searching for any number of things to fill the void, the only thing that truly fills is the archetype: The Holy.

* "Late have I loved you, O Beauty, so ancient and so new, late have I loved you! And behold, you were within me and I was outside, and there I sought for you, and in my deformity I rushed headlong into the well-formed things that you have made. You were with me, and I was not with you. Those outer beauties held me far from you, yet if they had not been in you, they would not have existed at all. You called and cried out to me and broke open my deafness; you shone forth upon me and you scattered my blindness; you breathed fragrance, and I drew in my breath and I now pant for you; I tasted and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace." -- St. Augustine of Hippo, Book Ten of his Confessions

How often we search for that which is already there. "You were with me, and I was not with you." Deep calls to deep...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

wayfarer

I find myself yet again in a time of wandering and wondering. As long as I can remember, something has felt different within me. Something that prevents me from feeling like I'm part of whatever "we" is closeby. Something spurs me on to the next horizon. Something whispers, "not here, not yet". Even as a little girl I do not remember feeling safe or settled or just right.

This restlessness is planted deep within my soul. On better days, I trust our call (as Christians) is to constantly watch for Christ's presence. To keep one foot in the world, and one foot outside. But there are days when I get tired. I would like a people to call my own. I would like a place to call home.


A friend recently told me that, for the first time in her 30+ years, she wakes up each day perfectly content with who she is, where she is, and what she is doing.

That seems like such a wonderful possibility... But is that settling? Is that who we are called to be? Are we meant to find true peace in this reality, or are we doomed to anxiously await something more? (Check out C. S. Lewis's The Great Divorce if you haven't read it recently!)


My feet are tired. My bones are weary. My soul is yearning. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I need a man

I can't believe I haven't posted this story yet...

A few weeks ago, I visited an octogenarian couple in their home. I took a classic home cookin meal of stewed chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and soggy greenbeans. They welcomed me to sit with them while they ate. Sweet people! Conversation was simple and humble, going from family updates to the weather. The wife, however, was mostly deaf and unable to participate in the banter. In the midst of our polite conversation, the husband suddenly smacked the table and said, "Girl! You are wasting the best years of your life!" Shocked, I said, "---, what do you mean?" To which he replied, "You need to be under the sheets with someone every night! You need to be loving!" Aghast, I turned scarlet while he chuckled and tried to encourage me that I shouldn't stay single. (N.B. This is an absolutely verboten topic with single women. Do not try this at home.) He laughed and laughed, and started to chuckle, too. His deaf wife then leaned in to ask, "What are you laughing about?" Without replaying the whole exchange, --- shortened the conversation and just yelled, "She NEEDS a man!" And she, of course, said, "What?" To which he replied again, "She NEEDS a MAN!!" I decided to leave before the neighbors came over to see who exactly needed a man, and what, exactly, she needed him for.

The things I get myself into.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

unplugged

I turned off my tv. I unplugged my computers. I disconnected my cable. And life got pretty quiet. I worried that it would be an extreme way of living. I worried that I would feel isolated and out-of-touch. Much to my surprise, the unplugged life is blissful! Listening to NPR at night has been a gentle way of winding down. Although I thought that watching the news or a little tv was a great way of zoning out before bed, comparatively, it was making me more tired. Now I putter (yes, putter) around the house, read, or sit on my patio. My wind slowly unwinds from the day's craziness. It's not a bad way to go. Try it ... I dare ya!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

that look!

If only we could remember the look on our faces when we were baptized... (for those of us baptized as infants) Sunday morning's baby came with mouth wide open in happy surprise, and eyes looking up, as if asking, "Where is that wonderful water coming from? How did I get so lucky to get this treat today?!" Radiant inner joy! Of course, there are those who scream at the heavens, and those who simply endure in silence. The theological personalities of each are significant: we revel in the promises of new life; we must be dragged from seductive sin into Christ's holiness; there is much to ponder as we make this journey.

I am grateful to celebrate and accompany these moments with our newest members. Grateful, too, for those who made promises on my behalf, and grateful to make promises myself on the behalf of others.

Friday, December 17, 2010

yet again

I'm a fan of Christ coming to save all of creation. I'm not so much a fan of all of creation literally sitting at the Communion Table. This week, at their owner's invitation, an old dog was served the broken body of Christ. (The second such occurrence in my career when I have served home communion.) As my mouth fell open, I tried to remember the Psalms of creation clapping its hands, mountains singing, and rivers rejoicing. I believe that God redeemed every rock and tree, every iguana and gnat. But something about their sitting around the Table just doesn't feel right...