Some Thoughts By Sunset

The place of the wound is the place of the healing.

Give up the illusion of who you’re supposed to be, and be who you are.

“I believe Christianity, because it is a religion you could not have made up.” C.S. Lewis

Regarding a pipeline across Native American holy ground, when any of life is disrespected and destroyed, the entire chain is broken, and the sacred is lost.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” Rainer Maria Rilke

“By admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.” Brennan Manning

By portraying ourselves as perfect people on Sunday morning and at other times, we have three problems: (1) It’s not true, (2) It isolates us from normal people, and (3) Depth of personality comes only through failure and recovery.

Projection is when I transfer my terrors and my darkness onto other people and groups. When I shun and exclude others, I discover the hidden, feared, and hated parts of myself.

We worry too much about what people are doing in bed much more than making sure everybody has a bed to begin with!

“There are people who use up their entire lives making money so they can enjoy the lives they have entirely used up.” Frederick Buechner

“In a sacrament, something holy happens.  It is transparent time, when you can see through to something deep inside time.” Frederick Buechner

 

 

 

The River

Why not consider looking at spirituality this way.  We’re standing beside a great and lovely river, almost feeling it flow right through us with its currents and surges.  Imagine that the river is God.  Look to your left to see where the watercourse originates, then to your right to follow it cascading toward the sea.

God has been moving in our yesterdays, and He’ll keep streaming toward our tomorrows. But He’s also right in front of us, on this very day, at this very moment.  As we breathe the moist air and feel the spray on our faces, and as we hold our hands in the living water for a while, it’s as though the River fills us with its beauty, its power, its cleansing, and its very soul.

And we are changed by this water.

 

Love God, Love Others

I recall hearing a minister from South Africa describe his nation’s struggle to end apartheid and how the Church was instrumental in that nonviolent revolution.  I was deeply impressed by his call to justice for all God’s children, especially the ones who’ve been oppressed and shunned for generations.  He said, “If your prayer is ‘Jesus, come into my heart,’ His answer will be, ‘Not unless I can bring my friends: the poor, the weak, the disabled, the foreigner, the stranger, and the refugee.'”

I’ve held onto that image for most of my ministry.  Following Christ is not only for the wealthy, the successful, and the prominent.  In fact, usually these favored folks are the last ones to understand what it means to need help and salvation.  When our Lord blessed the outcast and the alien, He was reminding us that His eternal Kingdom belongs to the ones who know they’re desperate enough to reach up for a rescue.

That leaves us with the truth that our faith cannot be a private and exclusive ticket to the hereafter.  If we claim to love God, then it follows that we’ll embrace and welcome His children, all of them.