Sunday, November 08, 2009

good finds and time to myself

i spent several hours at the Chicago Public Library this afternoon. It's been ages since I've been there and it felt good to go back. Is it weird so say that there are good memories there? I have never frequented the public library but i've gone a few times, and i don't know, it just brings back memories. mostly of 1st/2nd semesters.

while researching for my Holocaust paper, I made a few unexpected good finds: i copied a chapter out of Sallie McFague's book Speaking in Parables: A Study in Metaphor and Theology. The title of the chapter is Metaphor: The Heart of the Matter. It looks really good, I'm excited to read it. The book as a whole seems fascinating. One day when I have more time I might actually try to sit down and read all of it. I also copied a brief section out of Elie Wiesel's Memoirs on "God's Suffering." The sentence that jumped out on the first page: "God accompanies his children into exile." The next paragraph begins, "What happens to us touches God."

yesterday was a hard day. i felt sad all day. you know when sadness is deep and you can't just shake it? even well-meaning people can't provide the "distraction" necessary/desired. do you ever wonder why we try to distract ourselves from life's hard experiences (emotions, feelings, thoughts)? i do. lately I've been praying that God would help me live full before Him.

when i reflect on my time at moody (which i have been doing more of lately) i think about two things in particular: (1) how God has taught me about myself (this time really has been one of self-discovery) (2) how God has taught me about Himself (i don't even know what to say here. he has awakened me and opened my eyes to wonder at and see him in remarkably "new" ways) and (3) the people God has used to shape and impact me (some major and minor characters who have lived this story with me and changed me forever).

it seems like i've had lots of time to myself lately. i haven't, really, but it has felt that way because there's been time to listen to myself, talk to myself, and talk with God (when sitting in our living room or with friends, walking to the grocery store, riding the EL, walking across campus and in between classes, while trying to fall asleep at night). there seems to be times when conversation with God is both inevitable and unavoidable, don't you think?

i need to get my nose back in the books.
i'll leave you with a quote from The Genesee Diary that I read yesterday:
"In times of doubt or unbelief, the community can 'carry you along,' so to speak; it can even offer on your behalf what you yourself overlook, and can be the context in which you may recognize the Lord again." (Henri Nouwen)
do your best to surround yourself with a community that will challenge, push, prod, guide, and encourage you heavenward/homeward. and pray for those without such a community. pray for the expansion of this community...

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