Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jesus at the Bus Stop

There's a woman sitting out at the bus stop, and she's been there for more than 24 hours. Sometimes sleeping, sometimes walking, but always there, at the bus stop. And it's cold and rainy today. But can we see the stranger and invite her in? Is there room in our home where 4 poeple are already dwelling, with more soon to come tomorrow night and through the weekend?

I've been dwelling on it all day.

Then I found this a few moments ago....

"In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness...I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate..." [from the Diaries of Thomas Merton]

Last week, while visiting Duke, I think this happened to me... I think I awoke from a dream of separateness. I walked around with tears at the edge of my eyelids all week, wanting to burst out in smile, maybe even take someone aside and stare through their eyes and find the beauty. Although almost everyone who passed me was cold and disconnected, as we seem to be so accustomed to portraying ourselves, I felt overcome, like somehow my soul was seeing through them, to something that I don't recognize with my human eyes, but Christ in me certainly did recognize it. It's still happening, even today, this overwhelming awakeness...

I hope I never fall back asleep. Keep waking...

Underneath the surface of it all
is the aching for the trumpet call
when we cannot feel the weight of all the we have sown...
[when will He shine light on all that hides?]
(a. pates, m. clark)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

my big house makes me feel good

the lies we believe. I'm watching PBS (which I just really love), and right now I'm watching a show that highlights big A houses, with their custom made doors and cabinets, granite countertops, grand winding staircases, and MUCH, MUCH MORE! So much money spent on this grand space, a space that doesn't even feel lived in or cozy. But it's a status symbol isn't it? These folks are now on TV, even if it just local. And their friends can come over and "Ooooo" and "Aaaaaahhh" at their home, further affirming them that they are people of worth because their house is so huge and pretty and fancy. Do we really believe these lies?


I'm going to Durham, NC on Tuesday, to spend some time with Aislinn and Matt. It feeds my independent self that sometimes wants to get out and being able to fly alone is one the ways I feel the most independent. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so independent that I can't work with other folks. I know that would mean death to my marriage (and defeats the purpose of the Family of God), I'm just not going to lie that when I get to do something solo sometimes, I kind of like it.


I'm not saying a big house is wrong. When we fill it with friends and family and have people around our dinner table. When we open the extra room for the stranger, then we might need that big house to serve and love people best. what I am saying is this...

Don't believe it. Your fancy house just gives you an expensive padding for your bottom and a silver spoon in your mouth and might even make it harder to follow the Christ whose life oozed with simplicity.

Lord have mercy on our lifestyles and the ways we seek the world to affirm us.

Lord have mercy; Christ have mercy.