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Showing posts from May, 2015

living in the awkward

Life is sometimes awkward. It just is. There is physical awkwardness when our body seems to lack balance, grace, harmony, or skill. We find ourselves in positions which feel uncomfortable and we'd rather not stay that way for too long. I have awkwardly tripped and had a large wooden speaker fall on top of me. I have tried to open a door with my arms full and done some awkward contortions just to keep that bulky box tucked under my arm. Then there is social awkwardness which adds the element of other people seeing our lack of grace. We feel awkward singing or dancing in front of people because for most of us, it is very much a work in progress (or so we hope). Or maybe we are at a wedding dressed in jeans and a t-shirt when everyone else is in their finest clothes (the airline lost my luggage) making us very aware of the lingering looks people are giving us and the assumptions they are making about our lack of propriety. We can be standing by ourselves at a party, not sure what to…

before the judge

Judgment. The word sends a shiver through most people's souls, even those who proclaim to have salvation through Jesus Christ. I suppose this is because most of us immediately place ourselves in the position of the accused. To many of us, God as a Judge is not a reassuring thought. And that is strange, if you stop to think about it, because in the scriptures, the Righteous Judge is often portrayed as a very comforting figure.

C.S. Lewis suggests that in the Bible we find basically two views of judgment: what he calls the Jewish view and the Christian view.[1] The Jewish view is that of a civil case where I see myself in the position of plaintiff, a person unjustly wronged (stolen from, taken advantage of, etc.). The cry is for justice. In contrast, the Christian view of judgment is that of a criminal case in which I am the accused, on trial for the wrongs I have done against God. In this case, the plea is for mercy. When we are the plaintiff, we want to get before the judge, we w…

the planter's prayer

This morning was planting day on my balcony; I placed three small, toddler flowering plants in each of my terra cotta containers. One of the pots had some gnarly, root-laden dirt in it so before I started planting, I lugged it down 3 flights of stairs and emptied it in the backyard. I dug through the other 2 pots to loosen the dirt and remove any big roots. Dean had bought me a brand new, extra large bag of Miracle Gro potting soil, so I dragged the bag which was nearly half my body size over to the pots and began to transfer dirt from bag to pot. Of course, some of it ended up on strewn on the balcony, smudged on my pants, and wedged underneath my fingernails (despite wearing gloves). While I was in the process of digging in the dirt, it started to rain. It wasn't too bad, just a few sprinkles, so I carried on, picking up the pace.

I made three holes in each pot, carefully lifted the toddler plants out of their plastic containers, sprinkled some fertilizer in the bottom of each …

too quiet

My life has been pretty quiet the past few months. Don't get me wrong, it is busy. It has been one of those terms when I am teaching, traveling, going to conferences, trying to move forward on my thesis, grading assignments, and meeting with professors and students and people in my spiritual community. But in the midst of the busyness it has felt pretty quiet. Quiet in my spirit. No fireworks. No great excitement, No awesome revelations. No getting caught up in a whirlwind and taken to heaven. No pillar of fire by night. No guiding cloud by day. No burning bush. Just the humdrum of reading and writing, lecturing, going to the gym, praying, reading the Bible, gathering with followers of Jesus, and doing the dishes. Pretty quiet inside.

At times I ask my spirit - hey, are you alive and well? I hope so, I respond. I wonder to myself - is God with me? I guess so, I say, but I can't always tell. And maybe, on a particularly quiet and busy day, I allow myself to wonder if this whol…