life doesn't ask permission. things happen to us--so unexpectedly sometimes. each new moment offers opportunities and challenges; choices and possibilities. how we react and respond to these circumstances has a lot to say about the meaning we find in life.
lately i've been bloated with joy. at times it almost seems like a terrible distraction. i find myself asking, again, "is it possible to love my life too much?" you know, in the christian community we like to emphasize that we are "made for another world" and "citizens of heaven." this is true, of course. i still agree with Lewis that "if i find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that i was made for a different world." But, we are also humans--temporal--living in a temporal world. i believe the loves and pleasures we rightly enjoy here on earth are reflections of a greater--fuller--expression of those things in heaven. as one friend put it, we are experiencing "flecks of heaven" on this earth. I can imagine Brueggemann calling them "cadences of home."
when i walk to and from work there's a tree on the side of the road that is one of a kind: it is changing color before all the others. i have stopped several times to pick up leaves for pressing. i catch my breath at the beauty.
at times my heart feels near bursting when i feel the morning sun on my face or catch the twinkle in the eye of a passing stranger. i am very pleased with my life. i love what i am learning. i am privileged to struggle in order that growth and maturity might be possible. i am grateful that God has given me so much (grace upon grace)--a strong, thinking mind, a hopeful heart, a vibrant soul. i don't ever want to take these things for granted.
I'm still reading The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World. It's taking me a long time because of all the other things i am doing along the way. It is a troublesome read for me because it stirs some of the "same old" concerns and frustrations. Like...if we, as the church, don't develop a theology of suffering, we have no way of entering into this "redemptive memory" and the task of "remembering rightly." we won't be able to bring healing through (and to) memory.
yes, this troubles me. I am troubled that there is so little care and concern about this subject. the world speaks using voices of suffering. the souls of the world are well acquainted with lament-speech. the hearts of the world long for truth-telling about the condition they're in. this cannot be done without developing a theology of suffering. this cannot be done if the church does not learn to hear voices of suffering and lament, for the hope of telling the truth about God, about redemption, and about humankind.
more and more i want to engage this issue. more and more i want to find ways to get my head, hands, and heart deeper involved.
as image-bearers and ambassadors, can we be agents and avenues of redemption in this world? how can we challenge and encourage the church (ourselves) to be a better expression of this redemption?
these questions poke and prod me.
well, it's been a long week and i'm exhausted. goodnight, all. i hope tonight finds you well--able to enjoy a fall night wherever you are. think of noticing the beauty of our days. let it catch your breath.