Here I Stand; I Can Do No Other

I have a confession to make. I let Donald Trump silence me.  I had started my blog back up during Lent last year.  It began much as it had in years past.  And I was writing about faith and life.  Mostly, I was writing about Grace. And then Donald Trump made his comments about Mexicans and about building a wall.  And about women.  And about Muslim people and the need to ban them from the country. And people were responding to him and his candidacy in a way that made me want to scream.

It felt like grace was slipping away from our grasp and the anger and blame and hatred that were replacing the grace were simply unfathomable to me. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…simply not important anymore.

And so this loud noise, like a scream, started in my mind and it drowned out any coherent thoughts.  I think my whole system went into a form of shock.  And I couldn’t write.  I was in a mental and spiritual panic about Donald Trump’s candidacy and what his popularity meant about who we are as Americans.  And, for those supporting him within the church, who we are as Christians.  I was in a panic about what this meant that even people in my own life whom I love with all my heart would be willing to vote for a man who, to me, stood for everything that is abhorrent, the ugliest parts of who we are as humans and as Americans.

And so here we are.  I lost my voice and Donald Trump is now our president.  And that whirling vortex in my brain has coalesced into a laser sharp point of clarity and words just seem to be tumbling out faster than I can capture them.

In the confession that we recite in worship each Sunday, we confess to the sins of both commission and omission, to the things we have both done and left undone.  I confess today that I left a lot undone.  I left a lot unsaid.

As I have searched for my voice this last year, I have continued to read and study.  I keep coming back to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of my heroes.  Bonhoeffer was a pastor in Nazi Germany.  He was eventually jailed and executed by the Nazi regime.  In his sermon from July 8, 1934, he says, “Perhaps you are startled by this text and think it is just too relevant today and thus dangerous for a worship service.”  This sermon was preached after the bloody events of the so-called Röhm-Putsch, or the “Night of the Long Knives,” where the Nazi regime ordered the murder of several government officials in order to consolidate Hitler’s absolute power. The gospel, preached in the face of oppression, is most certainly relevant and dangerous!

Bonhoeffer’s sermon goes on to say, “We really want to get rid of the world of newspapers and sensational news” when we walk into the church.

The more things change the more they stay the same.  People in 1930s German were wanting to retreat into the church, hoping to spend a couple of hours away from their everyday reality, to experience solace. They didn’t know quite what to make of the newspapers.  I wonder what they would say about the myriad voices of truths, half-truths, and lies that constantly compete for our attention?!?

In his sermon, Bonhoeffer denies them this retreat.  He says that closing our eyes to the suffering right in front of us is not the Christian way.  He also says that finding someone else to blame or fault is not the Christian way, either.  The long and short of it is that the Christian way is to say, “these events took place in my world, the world I live in, the world in which I commit sin, in which I sow hatred and unkindness day by day.  These events are the fruit of what I and my family have sown…Therefore let us repent and recognize our guilt and not judge.”  He says that recognizing and acting on this way of renewal and repentance is quiet, slow, and even strange.  It is not natural. But, it is the only way to “overcome the world of the newspaper, the world of terrors, and the world of judging.”

I am making my confession to you all here today. There are things I have done and things I have left undone. I have worried and I have dithered. I have lost sleep.  I have paced the floor. I have yelled and I have wept.

Singer/songwriter Jewel Kilcher captures the words in my heart when she sings, “Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom.  No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.  Fill your lives with love and bravery and you shall live the life uncommon.”  I have, for nearly a year, given my strength over to “that which I wish to be free from.”  No more. On these pages, I will continue to wander in wonder.  I will also share with you on the days I am stumbling around in utter confusion or despair.  It helps me feel less alone. Maybe it will help you as you wander or stumble or stride along on your journey, too.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived his life with love and bravery. I pray that my life and my words may stand as a witness to the gospel of love and of peace that is such a mystery in this world.  I will lend my strength to the cause of justice, to the fight against oppression. I will not let terror, fear, anger, hatred or indifference have the last word.  I will use my voice to speak and to help give voice to others who have been silenced.  I will not stand in judgement. But by and in God’s grace, I will stand. In the words of Martin Luther, “Here I stand; I can do no other.”

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Grace Groove

Grace is the word that we’ve heard. It’s got groove.  It’s got meaning. Grace is the time and the place and the motion. Grace is the way we are feeling.  Doot, Doot, Doo, Doo, Doot…Is the word, is the word, is the word…

Once I got going with that thought, I couldn’t really stop.  It’s catchy isn’t it. But seriously, grace really does have a certain groove to it.  I think we realize this when we talk about someone being “graceful,” as if grace and movement somehow float along together.

I was blessed several years ago to be given the opportunity to learn something new, something people my age rarely undertake without previous experience.  Ballet.  Yes, ballet.  As a youth, I attempted cheerleading which did require a modicum of coordination.  I remember failing at that endeavor quite miserably.  My elementary school also offered a session of after-school lessons in baton twirling. I twirled my heart out practicing at home, but alas the glistening silver devil of a stick just wouldn’t obey my commands. Exercise in my college years and since has focused on physical movement that could be easily performed with little coordination: step aerobics (up, down, up, down, cross over, repeat) and stationary bicycling (which I could also do while reading, a bonus for most any type of activity for me!).

So, what possessed me to try ballet, you might ask.  IMG_0451 (2)Yes, I still am asking that.  My daughter had been taking classes for several years. Her instructor and the owner of the studio is not only a graceful person, she is also very gracious and grace-filled.  She invited me to take their Adult Beginner Ballet class, and for some reason, I decided, “Why not?”  I ended up at the dance studio most Saturday mornings for a golden age of time before my children’s activities encroached on that hour.

I can tell you that I LOVED the experience of dancing.  Ballet has a sort of disciplined fluidity to it.  It has the specific movements: the plie, pas du chat, the ronde de jamb, each requiring the precise placement and movement of the various parts of the body.  But even when you are simply moving through the exercises at the barre, the way the movements flow one into the other takes on a meditative quality.

When I combined the discipline and precision with the art and soul, I felt like I was embodying something other, something beautiful.  I was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a great dancer.  But in dancing, I felt the very real presence of grace.

Learning something new is hard, whether it is dancing or writing or swimming or loving or giving.  That feeling of grace didn’t come the first or second class.  In the beginning I felt very awkward.  And the awkwardness never fully went away.  But after I let go of all my worries about perfection and control and became fully present in my own body, Grace was able to find me even in my awkwardness.

Trying to define what grace is can be elusive.  Sometimes grace is simply that feeling of oneness within myself, a word of acceptance for my imperfections.

I look back on my early adult years, about how I would look at people who are where I am now and wonder why they couldn’t hold it all together. For one thing, they were older and much more experienced than me.  They should have it all together, right?  Why are they late for meetings?  Why can’t they get their children to behave? Why does their car look like someone has been living in it?  I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years.  20 years later, I don’t have it all together.  And I never have.  Sometimes I’m late for meetings.  Sometimes my kids say things that make me say, “where on earth did they hear that?!?”  Sometimes (well, most of the time) it looks like wild animals have ransacked my car and it is far beyond habitability.  Sometimes I don’t say or do the right things.  It’s taken me 20 years to understand that no one is perfect.

My son helped me learn this lesson.  When he was 6 years old, he attended a Montessori school.  Each year, the school had “Mom’s Night” where Mom or Grandma could come to school and the child would give the mom lessons and share their “school world” with Mom.  (They also had “Dad’s Night” at a separate time).  We had been at the school since Ryan was three years old and we always looked forward to Mom’s Night.  I was in my second year of theology school and Tuesday was my full day.  I left the house at 5:45 to beat the traffic into the city.  I was in school all day, until dinnertime.  I picked him up, we had dinner.  Something was unsettled in the back of my mind, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was not right. And, as I was putting him to bed, we snuggled in to read a book before lights out. I suddenly realized that we had missed it.  I gasped and said, “Oh no!  Tonight was Mom’s Night!” I told him how sorry I was that we had missed our special night together.  He calmly patted my shoulder and gave me a hug and said, “That’s OK Mommy, we all make mistakes sometimes.”

Being accepted in the midst of our most imperfect moments, the moments where we have disappointed, or hurt, or simply missed the mark in some way…that is grace.

How much better the world is when grace is leading the dance.

 

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Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Grace

I mentioned in my first entry this season that we are in the process of yet another home renovation project.  Living through home renovation while attempting to homeschool your children is an exercise in trying to control chaos, something that even God needed 6 days to reign in.  And then Sabbath on the seventh day was a must-have.  The project scope this time around is half of our basement.  When we renovated the upstairs, one of the structural changes we made was to open the stairwell, removing the door to the basement and the wall on one side of the stairwell so that you don’t feel like you are going down into a dungeon.  The nasty side effect of this feature is that every particle of dust from the construction in the basement seems to come floating up that stairwell.  The years of dust hiding in the walls and freed into the atmosphere with demolition, the cement dust from cutting the slab for the new plumbing, the sawdust from cutting boards for framing and trimwork, the sheetrock dust from sanding the new walls, the masonry dust from the brick mortar, the marble and travertine dust from cutting the tile…you get the picture.  New week, new dust.  So my Swiffer and I have become quite intimate.

And when I go downstairs, the mess is even worse: Piles of lumber and tile.  Bags of mortar.  Stacks of bricks. Broken boards, electrical wires, shards of wood, mounds of sawdust.  Holes in the walls, (where we also found the skull and skeleton of a small animal that looks like it must have expired twenty years ago.)  But the basement is slowly transforming before our eyes.  Our contractor is truly an artist.  All the dirt and mess and chaos are becoming something beautiful.

As I looked for pictures to go along with the “grace goggles” post, I began to wonder if we IMG_9201need to rethink our baptismal theology, our baptismal practices.  My kids are swimmers, so we have a lot of pictures of kids in goggles, a lot of pictures of goggled, wet heads above water, under water, diving into water.  The water always looks so clean and inviting. But the picture of my daughter in her goggles at the mud run, sloshing through the knee-deep, cold, grimy muck seemed somehow much more appropriate.  (That is me trudging along beside her, carefully hidden by the goggle-wearing male mud runner in the foreground, so I know just how cold that water was).  As I pondered that picture and why it spoke to me, I began to think that maybe, instead of being washed clean in the waters of baptism, we should be baptized in mud.

Christian theology likes to talk about being “washed clean,” as if somehow in the act of baptism we have had a special wax applied that makes all the nasty muck of the world just roll right off of us, like we are now beyond being contaminated.  There have been times and places throughout history that we have emphasized righteousness to the extreme.  And each time we do so, we run the risk of allowing our own personal opinions of right belief and right behavior to create de facto rules for everyone else.  More plainly, we become prideful in our righteousness and turn righteousness into “I’m right-ness.”

Jesus had something to say about this. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”  Yeast, to Jesus’s audience was a contaminant. It made you “unclean,” thus the call for unleavened bread. And yet, Jesus tells his followers that this contaminant is a way of understanding the kingdom of heaven.  And, not only was the yeast a contaminant, but this (now unclean) woman has gone and mixed it into the flour so that all of it was leavened.  And when this contaminant is added to the mix, some crazy chemical reactions take place.  The bread begins to change.  It begins to breathe. And rise. As if it has a life of its own.  All because of this contamination.

In my own project, I see the dust flying every day.  But if I don’t get into the truly messy parts, I will never witness the transformation that is taking place.  And I certainly can’t be a part of that transformation if I stay upstairs, out of the way, pushing around the surface dust.  And if I think that I am keeping myself and my own little part of the world clean by some sort of isolationism, the daily settling of dust attests to the fact that this is not how the world works.  The world is changing and transforming all around me.  By choosing to be intimately involved in the greasy, grimy, gritty process, I can be a part of giving birth to something beautiful.

IMG_9213 (2)So much of the political conversation in recent days has been about avoiding contamination.  About keeping people out.  Out of the country, out of the courthouses, out of the critical conversations.  To keep “us” (whoever that homogeneous group is?) clean. And this simply is not Christian.

God’s grace is freely given to all. Our baptism reminds us of this in a very special way.  We are baptized so that we may be “workers in God’s kingdom,” a kingdom of contagion, of contamination.  We are not baptized to set us apart so much as we are baptized to bring people together. The work of the kingdom is reconciliation, transformation, and life abundant for all people.

Grace is the yeast that sets off the reaction, that leavens the bread, in order that all people may change, and breathe, and rise, and live.  And for this, I say, “Thanks be to God!”

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Grace Goggles

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.

Incarnation. God became incarnate.  God took on flesh. Divinity embodied.  Why would God do such a thing? Incarnate.  It has the same root word as Carnivore, Carnal.  Isn’t this “fleshiness” thing akin to violence, animal instincts, tooth and claw and all that comes with it.  Why would God do that?

If we listen to the words throughout the Gospel according to John, we get a clue that it may have something to do with seeing.  Jesus in John’s gospel was all about perspective.  Those who are blind tend to be the ones who are capable of seeing the truth. I wonder if, through the incarnation, God’s perspective changed too?

I know in theology circles there are different camps on the whole idea of whether God is immutable.  Can a divine being, one that is eternal and perfect, change.  I’m going to go out on a limb here.  I’m going to show all my cards.  I believe that God changes.  In Jesus, God was born, God lived, God saw, God loved, God wept, God died.  God experienced what it is to be human.  To experience a human life is to change.

In the popular song From a Distance, we hear the lovely sweet melody intoned…”God is watching us; God is watching us; God is watching us…from a distance.”  But that all changed with the incarnation.  God’s perspective was no longer simply from a distance. God’s perspective was no longer from the burning bush or the pillar of fire.  God’s perspective wasn’t even walking side-by-side in the garden.  Through the incarnation, the human perspective pervaded God’s perspective.

In the AP Psychology class I am teaching this year, the students recently read about a cognitive trap that we humans tend to fall into.  Psychologists call it belief perseverance.  The concept of belief perseverance means that we have a tendency to cling to our beliefs even in the face of incontrovertible, contrary evidence.  And, we also tend to seek out more evidence and observations to pile on to our deeply held belief.

You can see the danger here.  We believe something.  That something turns out to be wrong.  But, by golly, there is no way we are letting go of that puppy!  Psychologists have found that the only way out of the trap is to consider the opposite belief.  What is really interesting about the studies on belief perseverance is that it is not enough for the researchers to appeal to the participants to be unbiased or objective as they consider the evidence.  Asking people to be unbiased or objective in their responses produced no appreciable change.  Change only happened when people were asked to imagine and ponder the truth of the findings opposite to their beliefs.  To counteract belief perseverance, what has to take place is a change in perspective.  We have to imagine that the opposite belief is true.  We have to embody that belief, try it on, live in it.

This is what God has done for us. God became human.  God loudly announced that it was not enough to be unbiased or objective.  God went all in for humanity. This is grace.

Grace is not just being unbiased or objective.  Grace means not persisting in our own beliefs about the way this world works.  Grace means changing our perspective.  God became incarnate so that, by seeing through our eyes, we could see through God’s eyes, through the eyes of grace.

And when we put on our Grace Goggles, the whole world shines with God’s glory.  Thomas IMG_9201Merton tells a story about standing on a street corner and, all at once, becoming overwhelmed by the fact that God was present in all of the other people standing at that same street corner.  When we wear our Grace Goggles, we look at other people and see God dwelling in them, we see that they have been created in God’s image, and we realize that to dwell in grace means to change our perspective.  We don’t see a cleaned up image of who they are either.  The mud and the muck, the earthiness, the carnage as it were, it is all still there. The parts we love, and the parts we think we could (in our wisdom?) carve away, the beauty and the brokenness, all transfigured and perfected in God’s grace right before our very eyes.

When I serve at the Eucharist meal and I come upon a child, I always bend so that I can see the child eye to eye because I believe that God meets us in the meal where we are so that we are then filled up to go and meet others where they are, to have the strength to imagine the world from their perspective.  This is the hard work of faith.

Derek Webb sings in his song, Take to the World, “…like the three in one, know you must become what you want to save, ‘cause that’s still the way, he takes to the world…”  It has taken me a long time to understand just what those lines mean. God becomes incarnate so that we can have the opportunity to understand what it is like to be someone else.  It may be someone else that we love.  It may be someone else that we despise.  It may be someone else who has hurt us.  It may be the person who migrated to find a better, safer life.  It may be someone half-way round the world whose religion or politics don’t seem to mesh with what we believe. It may be a neighbor, a teacher, a parent, a partner, a child.

Some scholars say that the definition of theology is “faith seeking understanding.”  I had always thought of this “understanding” in terms of a cognitive, logical thought process.  When doing theology, we seek to understand all the nooks and crannies that make up faith.  The “understanding” part to me meant that we dove into the deep study of the thing, like we would understand geometry or physics.  (At heart, I am truly an academic nerd and I like it when things make logical sense!)

I had always thought that the “faith” part of that definition held the mystery of the thing, the touchy-feely-ethereal part of what it meant to do theology.  But I have come to see that in truly doing theology, the understanding is part mystery, too.  To understand is to see the truth through the eyes of grace, not from a distance but up close and personal. When faith seeks understanding, it does so in the way of incarnation.  To understand, we have to become.  And then we see.

God I pray that you will dwell in us that we may have the strength to truly understand. Give us eyes of grace to see others as you see them.

 

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A Dwelling Place

Welcome back to Lent.  I’m feeling a bit different this year.  I’m still tired, overcommitted, buried (yet again) in construction dust.  Still homeschooling my children in fits of exuberance marked by moments of sheer panic and exhaustion.  Still making an attempt to be, if not the “perfect professional’s wife,” at least a companionable partner who makes a good show of respectability (on a good day I brush my hair) and charm when the occasion calls for it.  I can’t tell you exactly what feels different this year.  Maybe I’ll work that out over the course of the season.  We have roughly 6 weeks together.  Maybe we can all learn a little something about ourselves along the way.

As I have mentally rehearsed the return to the blog this year, there is a little word that has been beckoning to me, a word that seems to have fingers, tendrils, movement, fluidity, light, shadow, weight and depth.  A word I need to hear.  A word conspicuous in its absence and breathtaking in its presence.

Grace.

It’s one of those simple words most of us have heard all our lives.  In its voice we name our daughters.  Under its melodies we begin our meals.  It is in the songs we sing, the sacred texts we read.

By grace we are saved.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound.

Say grace.

The whole of the gospel in a tidy package.  So simple and yet…

My moments of (often hard-won and desperate) epiphany this year have led me to this…

Wandering in wonder naturally leads to dwelling in grace.

The last Sunday before we head into Lent, we read the story of the Transfiguration of Christ.  Jesus journeys to the top of a mountain with a few of his disciples.  They see him changed: divinity exposed.  And they decide that it would be good to just hang out there, basking in the glory-moment.  They want to build dwelling places for the prophets and for Jesus.  And you can just hear the exasperation in Jesus’s voice when he tells them “no.”  But Jesus understood what the disciples couldn’t.    Jesus was building something better.  Abide in me.  He tells his followers.  Abide in me.  Abide in my love.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.  God made us, humanity, God’s dwelling place.  A dwelling place whose very air is filled with grace.

We dwell in God.  God dwells in us.  A dwelling fused together by grace and by truth.

Grace is our home.

Come, let’s begin the journey home.

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Perichoretic Dance of the Trinity

So when I think my children can no longer surprise me with the deep spiritual connections they make, they seem to take it to the next level.  Today, Ryan had a practice college application essay as an assignment in his Contemporary Literature/Freshman English class, one of the classes he takes outside of the house this year.  He was supposed to discuss something that makes him unique and he was supposed to do it in a way that would stand out to his reader.  After all, the college application boards see a LOT of essays.  So his teacher wanted them to dig deep to make an impression.

Ryan went at the essay from the standpoint of “balance” and the importance of being well-rounded.  He talked about how his academic, athletic, and artistic pursuits all work together to make him who he is and how each endeavor fuels the others.  As I read his essay, a passing thought entered my mind, What about serving others, or spiritual devotion? Can you really be “balanced” without that?

His closing brought in a comparison to the Trinity, and how each part of who he is cannot be separated from the other.  And while this might have been a bit simplified (and might have gotten him in trouble if he had to defend his analogy with Saint Athanasius?!?), I am amazed to think of how naturally he is able to bring his understanding of theology into play with his everyday life.

After I read his essay, we talked a little more about the Trinity, about how theologians talk about the mutual indwelling, the perichoresis, of the members of the Trinity.  Ryan told me that this is just how he sees the different aspects of his own life, dwelling within one another, supporting each other, morphing in and out of focus, ebbing and flowing, advancing and receding. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit dancing one with the other in a beautiful God-waltz of creation, redemption, and manifestation.

Ryan didn’t need to list “church” or “service” or “religion” as one of his main life pursuits because, for Ryan, his spiritual life is his core. To work the analogy, it is the Godhead, the “One” of the Three in One.  All else finds rest in this whole.

Today, I pray that I may see the world through the eyes of a child, my child, who continues to amaze, and surprise, and, yes, teach me, gazing with wide-eyed humility as the perichoretic dance of the Triune God swirls around us, enfolds us, and lifts us up.

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The Best is Yet to Come

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’

We have had quite a weekend in the Jones household.  My daughter went to the annual Girl Scout Daddy-Daughter dance.  This is an event that she looks forward to every year.  I will be so sad when the year finally comes that she decides she is too big for Daddy-Daughter dances.  It is her big night out with Dad.  She had a wonderful time, right up to the point where a couple of girls fell down in front of her, she tripped over them, and her face met an untimely kick from another little girl. Mayhem ensued.

Who knew that one little lip could bleed so much?  She was not a happy Girl Scout.  Even after a half hour drive, she arrived home inconsolable.  She told me that she couldn’t stop thinking about Saving Mr. Banks.  And I couldn’t figure out why.  This is the movie about the making of Mary Poppins. And then it dawned on me (Spoiler Alert – if you haven’t seen Saving Mr. Banks and you are worried about ruining it, skip to the next paragraph!).  She was remembering the flashback where P.L. Travers’s father dies.  After years of alcohol abuse, his health deteriorates and he is coughing up a lot of blood.

Oh my.  My sweet little 8-year-old girl thought that she was experiencing something far more traumatic than a little blood from a cut on her lip.  It broke my heart to think of the fear she must have been carrying around inside of her for the past hour.  After I assured her that her condition was in no way related to what the father in the movie experienced, her panic finally dissipated.

I find that with my children, they often say things that seem totally unrelated to the current situation.  But if I stop to think for just a minute, I can figure out the connection they are making.  With homeschooling, we spend so much of our time together that it often feels like we live in one big conglomeration of inside jokes and references, our own little mini-civilization, that other people can’t readily decipher.  I feel extremely fortunate to have this kind of close relationship with my children.

Nathanael recognized in that very first meeting that Jesus already understood all the quirky, indecipherable things he might say, or think, or feel. He realized that Jesus truly knows him. How wonderful to have the feeling of being truly known by another!

It is hard to tell from this short story just why Nathanael gets this overwhelming feeling of connection. It also seems that Jesus is a bit surprised at the effect of this short conversation. But he takes it as a beginning.  A good beginning, for Jesus recognizes that Nathanael is beginning to believe.  And believing in John’s gospel is seeing.  And seeing is what is important.

If you don’t believe me on this, hang on.  As we continue through John’s gospel, you will recognize this theme over and over and over again.  And pay attention to the order.  It is not that seeing is believing.  It is that believing is seeing.

During this same weekend, my 15-year-old was at a church event for high-schoolers called Happening.  I can’t tell you much about it.  That is part of the fun and impact of the event.  The first-timers, those who are “happening” don’t know much about “happening.”  It is entirely youth-led.  Those who are leading are the youth who have “happened” previously.  There are adults on hand to make sure nothing goes too far awry, but the youth are the ones leading the sessions, leading the music, leading worship.  The knowing, believing, seeing methodology can be experienced live and in action at a Happening. When anyone asks about what is on the agenda, they simply say, “The best is yet to come!”

The youth are expressing the same idea that Jesus did as he told Nathanael, “You will see greater things than these.”

Because God knows us, we can rest in the knowledge that, even when we don’t understand ourselves, God understands us.  Paul writes, regarding prayer, that if we can’t figure out what to say, the Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.  I love that.  Sighs too deep for words.  So when all you can get out in between sobs is “Saving Mr. Banks.”  God knows what you really mean.  God knows.  Believe it.  And you will see greater things than these. The best is yet to come.

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