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My friend Lore sent me some encouragement the other day; she said, "my editor at [insert super-relevant faith blog channel] wrote me and said 'don't think people don't want the lyrical stuff. They do.'" I'm not sure exactly how Lore knew I needed the encouragement to keep tapping out words, but she did. Perhaps it's that whole "same Spirit," thing or something. In any event, a timely word is a treasure. The Proverbs say so.
I'm going to be less guarded here, speak less in parables today. Prepare yourself.
There is a great deal of infighting on the Christian-net these days. I think it's over the top. Let me put it this way: if John Piper (the super-educated) says one thing about women's roles in the church, and NT Wright (the super-educated) says another, and I've read them both, and they both make cogent arguments, and I have not a breath of the training of either of those two men, I'm left only with my persuasions. (And I do have some persuasions on the topic.) In other words, I'll interpret their teachings through the lens of my personal reality (or my "story") and make a decision regarding which I believe. But why take the extra step and claim some extra-enlightened stance on the topic? Why try to teach the Christian-net the "Truth," when the truth is, I'm just as confused as the rest of the people. You know... if I'm honest.
Honesty cuts both ways, see. It's not just about being vulnerable about the garbage of your story, it's about admitting what you don't know, too.
Last night, I crawled into my bed after singing a rousing rendition of Rich Mullins' "Creed." I closed my eyes and found anger and discord blinking behind my eyelids, the coded computer bits of the day coming back to haunt me. I recalled a particularly nasty internet debate, a video, some snarky comments, and whatever is the opposite of a whole lotta love. This was not an intentional recollection, mind you. Sometimes the brain is an entity of it's own; it sparks where it will and you follow. But after a few minutes of riling up, I said it over and over, "I believe in God the Father, almighty maker of heaven and maker of earth."
After a time, the sparking stopped.
Mike Rusch once asked me, "what are the things that keep you up at night?"
Preston says that not many should aspire to be teachers, and I wholeheartedly concur. There's a millstone awaiting the false-teacher's neck, after all, and millstone necklaces and oceans are a lethal combination.
I don't aspire to teach. In fact, the thought that I'd ever return to the church in that capacity terrifies me. When I was teaching the young Churchlings back in the day, when I was brandishing the title "youth minister" like a sword, I never appropriately apprised myself of the risks. Sometimes the knicker-knack of the steel comes back to cut you.
I pray, dear Lord, that you've already tossed my waiting millstone into the ocean. Sans Seth, of course. Lord, have mercy.
My friend Lore sent me some encouragement the other day. I'm not sure how she knew I needed it. Maybe it was because I've been writing about borders and cardinals. Maybe it's because I've been speaking in poems. Maybe it's because I've trended lyric lately.
I'm finding God more and more in the less and less obvious. I'm finding he doesn't call me to have a voice on every issue du jour. I'm finding that there is peace in forgiveness, and tolerance. I'm finding God in the quiet places. In scripture, yes. In nature, yes. In the recitation of the creed, yes.
Maybe it's the simplicity that's speaking to me lately. Maybe it's the lyric. Maybe I'm just tired of the fighting. I'm not sure.