Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just a meditation on love...

I was told once that love is patient, but anyone who has held vigil beside the sick or dying knows just how impatient love can be. Pushed by impending loss or fear love can be a frantic, frenetic, grasping to hold on. A visionless quest whose guideposts are only memories. I remember how you laugh, I remember how you smile, how you did a million little things. We speak these things at funerals, we put them in our eulogies, we hold them in our albums. A million reasons why we love, a million reasons to never let go, a million ways to hold and be held.

I was told once that perfect love casts out all fear. I believe that this is because in the face of danger love pushes fear aside in it's desire to protect. I will face any fire, and flood, all the demons of hell to keep you safe, to hold you from harms way. Love is strong that way.

Love is paradoxical. When we feel at our weakest, those weeping, gnashing, fear of loss moments, those moments when we are rushing to protect with weak knees and trembling arms, this is where it is strongest. It is in these moments when we feel all is at a loss, that loves proves that even death is not strong enough to conquer it. Love will keep on loving.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

For the Gift of You

(Happy Birthday to my Friend)

You are the simple joy
Of seeking adventure
On sunlit days
You are moments with your sons
You are dances with your daughters
You are the embraces with your wife
You are holy moments
You are simple joys
You are a child of God
And that is enough.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

By Schisms Rent Asunder

So I am currently at a retreat with the Board of Ordained Ministry and it has added a few puzzlers to me. As the church faces the future, and as she changes through time she has to renew and rethink, reapply, and re-imagine the doctrines the make up her core when do we cross the line from exploration to heresy. This is not to say that our doctrines must necessarily change but they have throughout time needed to be reinterpreted and reunderstood in the light of new information. We moved from a geocentric to a heliocentric universe which changed how we understood creation. God is still creator of all says the church, but the universe is far more storied than we originally understood.

As the story of the universe unfolds, as science lends it's voice to understanding, as history teaches and as the arts continue to lift our heads into the universe, the church will grapple with everything she has learned. However with all these avenues for revelation being open, each a six lane superhighway pushing more ideas for consideration, as what point do we lose God's voice? When do we cross that line between orthodoxy, to heterodoxy, to heresy?

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Good Rehearsal

I want to talk about finding salvation in an unexpected place. When I first arrived at Herbst I was amazed at how kind, and wonderful the people are. I am also stilled and amazed by how self sufficient they are. These people can do anything. They build, the renovate, they design with startling efficiency. They seem to know exactly what they are doing no matter what they are doing. I have days when i feel like I can't do anything right.

However, these last few months I've been taking to the stage at the Marion Civic Theater. I have to say... in many ways this experience has saved my life. It gave me a place to not be a pastor. And when I'm up there on that stage, in being someone else, I am more free to be me. I can be funny, and touching, and loving and creative all at once. I reconnect with parts of myself that have been dormant. It's a beautiful thing to have a good rehearsal, that enables you to live in all the other parts of your life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Dream of a Church...

Sometimes when i sleep at night, I have a dream about a church. A church where I serve as Pastor and for some inexplicable reason... I fit perfectly. I've dreamt of this church several times. I see a balcony and a procession. I see art and music. I believe that this church exists somewhere, and for some reason mysterious and wonderful God has granted me some vision. Every time I break from the dream I feel empty and lost. There is a dull ache of emptiness that permeates my soul.

It's not just a dream. I know it's out there. This place I was called to serve that will make complete sense. Everyday I serve with joy here is one day closer to this place whose dimensions I cannot make out.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Poem: Behold

(Hat tip to JD Walt www.jdwalt.com)


A command not to look
Instead you must see
Or not a command but a plea
Behold... Pay attention

The virgin shall conceive
Shepherds and stars
Inkeepers, Magi travel afar
Behold... Pay attention

A homeless savior
For a homeless world

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friends and Suicide

To Tyler Clementi 18, Seth Walsh 13, Asher Brown 13, Raymond Chase 19, Caleb Nolt 14...

In a better world, I bet we could have been friends, we could have been best friends. I am sure I would have delighted in the miracle of each of you. Had I known you.

The truth is though, I don't know you nor did your tormentors. They failed to recognize your special creation, the God created image fused into your very skin, the love that formed the arches and structures of your soul. They did not see that you were a child of God, and a person of worth. In a better world, I could pity them that they never really met you... but I do not live in a better world, and all I feel towards them is anger... all I feel is pain. There is a mission to be done, a miracle God ordained for you to accomplish, a place in the world that will be forever empty because of the loss of you. We never will know how the world would have been changed through your life journey. It was simply taken from us and suffocated in a never ending wave or personal abuse and hate. I am so sorry the world did not savor the mystery of you. it is truly our loss.

We are in so many ways responsible for what happened to you. Though you were loved by many of your family and friends, completely and truly, there were far to many of the rest of us who buried your pain under a deep blanket of apathy and ignorance. I'm sorry that the generations before you failed to create a better world. Forgive us, we don't know what we are doing.

I wish I could say that I didn't feel some anger towards you also. I hate that you left this wide world without you. I hate it for your family, and the people who loved you. I cannot imagine what they go through each day... but this pain and this anger will diminish. It will falter because I also understand. Your families understand. Your friends understand. The suffering was overwhelming, the loneliness too intense. You got lost, we all know that that can happen. When you see our anger I hope that you understand that at these moments there is more than enough anger to go around.

I also promise you this... We will try harder to teach people they are valuable. We will work harder to love them. We will reach still further in hopes that one fine morning, you and all those like you, these God created God loved souls, will be so understood, so valued, that they will accomplish all life had for them to accomplish, and thereby transform the world. We will fight the evils and oppression, the bullies and those who hate. We will lay aside the old weapons of war and discord, and fight instead with, beauty, peace, truth, and righteousness. This is the new thing that will grow from the ashes of this tragedy. In this renewed quest towards love, we will reclaim the loss of your life. We will turn these Good Friday Realities, into Easter Glories. This is my promise to you.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, Yes... They will rest from their labors.