Number 176

Over he last few decades we have been inundated by a torrent of words.  Wherever we go we are surrounded by words: words softly whispered, loudly proclaimed, or angrily screamed; words spoken, recited, or sung; words on records, in books, on walls, or in the sky; words in many sounds, many colors, or many forms... words which flicker off and on, move slowly, dance, jump, or wiggle.~Henri Nouwen

***

A twenty something rambles on about living life... really living life, he says.  His words bubble like a bottomless Coca-Cola, sweet and sticky.  He spills them on internet pages and podcasts.  They're splashed across screens just like this one.  He is aspiring.  He'll tell you, even if you don't ask.

***

Mike calls, tells me he's heard about a family struggle.  He listens to the story, offers "mm-hmms" and the occasional "I'm sorry."  When I'm finished he says nothing, allows the silence to hang.  Then he says, "I have no words, but I'll sit with you if you want."  The silence hangs again, and I feel the shaking cedars still.  I feel my bones harden like steel.  I feel the possibility of solidarity, the endless proliferation of hope.

Share Your Story - An Invitation

Yesterday I sent an email to the email subscribers here at the collective.  I mused a bit about blown tires, a soon-to-arrive baby, and the goodness of this present life.  I then opened it up to the email readers, "share a bit," I asked them.  Stories beget stories. Art begets art. Several took me up on the invitation, shooting emails back telling the group their most recent stories.  I sat in my living room, reading aloud to my wife, laughing a bit (thanks for the beard story Hamster), pondering a bit (thanks for the southern story Abby), and watching my wife cry a bit (thanks for the mother imagery Erika).  Stories evoke so much.

Today I give you a brief invitation.  Every month, I'll be giving a bit of a behind the scenes peek at my life to the email subscribers.  I'll ask them to take a little and give a little, sharing a bit about their lives with the group (if so inclined).  It's a really grand thing, this sharing of testimonies.  If you'd like to be a part of the monthly exchange, subscribe via email.  There's a box over there in the upper right-hand side (see it).

And if you are already a subscriber to the RSS feed, leave a comment letting me know you want in!  I'll put you on the subscribers list.

Thanks again to those who shared.  It made for a good Lord's day exercise.

Words Can be Work

It’s the tedious work of the church that’s mighty—difficult, though it seems. Josh asked me to pray for his tough decision. I did. Not thinking twice, I offered material-less work—you see, words to a creator matter. Little did I know the power in a single prayer, that you could see grace unimaginable, too. Simple. It’s the tedious work of the church that’s mighty difficult. Though it seems Josh asked me to pray for his tough decision, I did not. Thinking twice, I offered material. Less work, you see. Words to a creator matter little. Did I know the power in a single prayer? That you could see grace unimaginable? Too simple.

*Graphic: content found here.

**Graphic content found here.